Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year!

I hope everyone is happy and safe during festivities tonight.  There have already been people setting off fireworks near our neighborhood for the past 2 weeks.

And don't forget to eat your black eyed peas and collard greens for good luck in the new year :)
I just eat the peas - I hate collard greens.  So I guess I'll just have 50% good luck and 50% bad luck. 

Have a Blessed New Year!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Jingle Paws

Well, tis the season to not have time to blog.  LOL

Things are finally settling down around here and I hope things are calmer at your houses as well.  I hope you've all had a very Happy Christmas or a blessed Hanukah and any other holiday that your family celebrates.

And once again, we're getting ready to celebrate the beginning of a new year.  Funny how fast they come the older you get.  My son swore that the days waiting for Christmas were endless and moving at a snails pace.  I, however, thought they were speeding by.

We had a very nice Christmas.  Some good food.  Spending time with family.  Putting together lots of new Legos.  And watching my new DVD's of The New Adventures of Old Christine.

I'm not one to make New Year's resolutions. But I do have some plans for my Handmade Whimzy shop and things that I hope I can get accomplished this year.

For now, I have some cute pictures of Jingle Paws.  Our sweet Mac is such a good sport.
But stay tuned for the posts of the bottle cap pincushions that I made for my son's teachers.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Treat Yourself End of Year SALE!

I'm having a big, huge "Treat Yourself End of Year SALE"!

ALL of the hair accessories and scented sachets in my Handmade Whimzy shop are marked 50% off!

You can get some yummy smelling sachets to put in all your drawers or hang in your closet.  Or how about a sweet flower for your hair?

So treat yourself to something pretty.  Don't we all deserve it after the stress of the holiday season?

Sunday, December 12, 2010


I just hit 200!!!!!

I'm SOOOOOOOOOOOOO excited.  My 200th customer is getting a surprise free gift :)

In other, unrelated news, my baby is still sick.
I have a ton of gifts to wrap and haven't wrapped any.
I picked up our Christmas cards (the have a pic of my son on them - we ordered through his school), but haven't addressed any of them.
I'm having to car shop, now, at Christmas time.  UG!

How is your weekend going?

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Farmer's Market Apples

I listed a new half apron in my shop today.  I love this apple print by Sandi Henderson from Michael Miller fabrics. 

And I'm working on one with more Sandi Henderson/Michael Miller fabric - from the Meadow Sweet collection.  It's so pretty!  Can't wait to show it off!

What else is going on right now?  Well, when I picked my sweet baby up from school yesterday, he had a temp of 101.9.  So not only is he sick, but he infected his whole class because he's too stubborn to tell the teacher he feels bad so he can come home.  Sigh.

AND, my shop has hit 199 sales!  My goal was 200 by the end of the year.  My sales have really picked up since I switched over from handmade jewelry to handmade aprons - and you don't hear me complaining :)

Have a great weekend everyone!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Bottlecap Pincushion Christmas Ornaments

I've shown off my bottlecap pincushions before but it was this post HERE when I attempted to make Christmas ornaments for our local fair's arts and crafts contest and they didn't come out so good.  I tried to sew the hanging ribbon into the ornament when I blanket stitched the top and it made them all crinkled.  

That was when my efriend Nancy suggested that I sew the ribbon on the outside of the pincushion and use pretty buttons to cover up the tales. 
Well, Nancy is a genius!!!

You're a genius Nancy!

This time, they came out perfectly.  I sent these to my Christmas ornament swap partners.

Here is the back of one where you can see how I sewed the button over the ribbon.  Sorry it's very blurry.

I love making these but they are very time consuming.  Very cheap to make - probably less than a quarter's worth of materials.  But they take me soooo long to make.  Possibly because I consider myself a novice embroiderer.  I'm sure lots of people would be able to whip them out.  But they sure are fun! 

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Holly Day Blog Hop from EtsyMom Team!

Check out all of the fabulous holiday-themed projects, gift ideas, and more from our wonderful EtsyMom Blog Hop Contributors from around the world!!
Here's how it works:
1. Hop through each of the blogs listed above to get fabulous holiday inspiration and leave a comment. If you are starting at a blog in the middle of the Hop, start back at the EtsyMom Blog. You may have to scroll down a bit on the blogs to find the Blog Hop posts as the week progresses.
2. Leave a comment on the EtsyMom Blog post between now and December 11, 2010.
3. Enter to win our giveaway by doing any of the following. For each thing you do, you will be entered into the drawing one more time:

~Leave a comment on the EtsyMom Blog post between now and December 11, 2010.
~Leave a comment on the Holly Day Blog Hop posts for any of the blogs listed above between Dec 5 and Dec 11, 2010.
~Join the EtsyMom Blog email list (fill out the form in the right hand column).
~Become a follower of the EtsyMom Blog! Just click the "Follow" button in the lower right column.
~"Like" the EtsyMom Facebook Page.

Share about this Blog Hop on your own blog, posting a link to this page.
Share about this Blog Hop on Facebook, posting a link to this page.
Share about this Blog Hop on a message board or forum, posting a link to this page.
To let us know you've done these things, please come back to the EtsyMom Blog post and leave a comment for each thing you did.
Sorry - you cannot enter the giveaway here on my blog.

On December 11, 2010 we'll choose a winner using the Random Integer Generator from The winner will receive this super sweet gift basket full of handmade holiday goodies, including:
a pair of Turquoise Earrings from
a lampwork bead bracelet by
sterling silver and Swarovski pearl/crystal holiday earrings by
a cream colored cotton scarf given by
a raincloud ornament from
a matching splat mat and baby bib from
two pair of earrings from

a gift pack of over 30 pages of vintage paper ephemera by
a lovely sustainable stocking from
a set of holly jolly gift tags from
a set of toddler pajamas in a style of the winner's choice from
a $15 gift certificate from
A gift certificate from

A Custom copper heart necklace from

My contribution to the blog hop is a tutorial for making an easy peasy Advent banner for Christmas.  I'm calling it my:

 12 Days of Christmas Treats Banner

I got the idea from a Better Homes and Garden Christmas magazine that had an article on Scandinavian Christmas traditions.   The family in the picture had an advent banner for each child strung across different windows.  They were very simple little red and white bags or stocking shapes, pinned to a string with clothespins.  Perfect for dropping in a sweet little treat each day.  I only made mine for the 12 days leading up to Christmas.  So, my son will check his treat  pouches each day from Dec. 13th till Dec. 24th.

I decided to make mine with felt (because it's so easy to sew and cheap!).
Here's a pic of the final result:

Stuff you need to make a 12 day treat banner:

2 pieces of sparkly red felt (the 9x12 inch sheets)
2 pieces of sparkly white felt
2 pieces of bright green felt
12 Christmassy buttons
Christmassy scrapbook paper
1/8 inch ribbon in coordinating colors
paper punch in your choice of shape
red and green sharpie markers
Jute (or similar sturdy string)
Christmas ribbon
Sewing machine or needle for hand stitching - with thread

Step 1
Cut out your rectangles with the red and white felt.  Each rectangle should be 6 x 4.5 inches.

Step 2
Cut rectangles out of the bright green felt.  Each one should be 4 x 3 inches.

Step 3
Choose the buttons you want to use.  I made some fabric buttons and also used red star shaped buttons. 

Sew buttons on to the center of each felt piece.

Step 4
Pin green felt pieces to red/white rectangles, placing them where you want your pouches to be.   I centered mine closer to the bottom.

Step 5
Sew green rectangle to red/white piece using a zig zag stitch or other decorative stitch.  I used my sewing machine but this could also be done by hand.

Step 6
Punch out tags using Christmas paper and a paper punch.  I used a heart punch and 2 different Christmas papers.  Punch a small hole in each tag for the hanging ribbon.

Step 7
Thread the 1/8 inch ribbon through the hole and tie to make a hanging loop.  Use the sharpie markers to write the dates on the back of each tag.  I used a red and a green sharpie.

Step 8
Hang each tag from the buttons on the pouches.  Tie your jute wherever you want your banner to hang.  Pin each pouch to the jute with clothespins in date order.

Fill with tiny treats and voila', you're done!
Merry Christmas from Handmade Whimzy!!

And on to the next blog in the hop!
Have fun participating!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Salvation Army Christmas Garage Sale

We have a great corp of Salvation Army volunteers in our community.  And they have GREAT garage sales.  LOL

Every year, they do a spring and fall garage sale with all the donated items they receive.  Then a few years ago they started doing a Christmas garage sale because people were donating so many Christmas items.  You can get everything there.  They have trees of all shapes and sizes, lights, decorations, furniture, dishware, yard art, and everything else.

This year I waited until the very last second to go.  My DH and I went at about 2pm on Saturday - they closed at 3pm.  So there wasn't a whole lot left.  sigh.
I should have gone on Friday.  A friend of mine did and showed me all her treasures and she really cleaned up.

But, I'm still happy with the $3 that I did spend.  Here are my treasures:

A Santa candy dish - you take the candy from his bum! 
I thought it was really cute.

And a set of salt and pepper shakers with poinsettas on top.  Kind of plain but I like them.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Aristotle the great Greek Philosopher

Here is something that I had been working on for several weeks.  It took me several weeks because I would work on it for a few minutes and then put it down for several days - and you get the picture.

My son's school has a history faire every fall.  Usually it's not all that exciting but this year they have a new teacher and she's really into it!  All the kids from 1st grade to 8th grade had to do a project.  The middle schoolers (6th-8th) had to do their projects on a person/community during ancient times (BC).  They had studied Ancient Mesopotamia, Ancient Greece, Ancient Egypt etc.

So my Ben decided to do his on Aristotle, the Greek philosopher.  I thought that was pretty fitting because he likes to stand around talking and have people listen to him talk.  Don't know where he gets that from :)

Anyway, it was a pretty extensive project which took weeks to do.  He mostly worked on it on the weekends and he did it at least 95% on his own.  I guided him a little but tried to step back and let him do it.  He really surprised and impressed me with how well he did.  I was so proud of him.  He did all his research by himself and made all the decisions on what to do by himself.  I did make the costume using a picture that he had printed but his teacher said it was ok for me to make the costume, so it wasn't cheating or anything.

ALL the kids did really well.  Having them dress in costume for their part really helped them get excited about it.  I've never seen them so enthusiastic at the history faire before.

Ben made a trifold board all about Aristotle, he built the Parthenon, he made a book with coffee dyed pages so that it would look old, and he did a board on daily life in ancient Greece.
Here he is in costume.  I bought a cheap sheet at Walmart to make the costume - and I do mean cheap.  That fabric was awful.  I was just hoping that it would stay together long enough.  I made the beard and mustache out of felt from instructions I found here

And I just had to show you Anubis, the Egyptian God of Death.  I was so glad Ben didn't pick him because I couldn't figure out how to make a jackals head but one of his classmates did.  Here he is:

I normally don't show other peoples kids but since you can't see his face, I thought it would be ok.
Pretty cool huh?

Thursday, November 25, 2010

EtsyMom Team Huge Black Friday SALE!

The EtsyMom team is having a huge Black Friday Weekend Sale!  It starts at midnight tonight and goes until midnight on November 29th - Cyber Monday.
(My sale starts now!)
I'm having a 30% off sale on all Hair accessories and scented sachets in my shop.  To get the discount, I will either refund you through Paypal or you can wait for me to send a revised invoice to pay.

Click here to see all the participating shops - and there are lots! -
Or search "EtsyMomSale" on etsy for the sale items.

Happy Shopping!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Last Week's Sweet - Cherry Butter Cookies

Last week's sweet was Cherry Butter Cookies.  I made half with nuts and half without because my son doesn't like any type of nuts.  I have to put his no nut sweets in  a separate container and label them so that my DH won't eat them all. 

These are one of my favorite cookies because I love cherries and I also love the texture.  They aren't ooey gooey like chocolate chip, but instead have more of a shortbread texture.

Here's the recipe:


2 cups butter, softened
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups confectioners' sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 1/2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (or pecans which is what I use)
10 ounce jar of chopped maraschino cherries  (drain all the juice off and rinse them well or they will have a chemical taste)

1.Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
2.In a large bowl, mix together the butter, vanilla and confectioners' sugar until smooth. Mix in salt, then stir in flour by hand until dough is stiff. Add the walnuts and cherries, and mix into the dough.
3.Roll dough into ping pong sized balls, and place onto ungreased cookie sheets. Press down balls with a fork to make a criss cross pattern on top.
4.Bake for 15 to 17 minutes in the preheated oven. Let stand on the baking sheet for a few minutes before removing to wire racks to cool completely.

Makes about 3 1/2 dozen cookies.
These are really pretty cookies for the Holidays and also for Valentine's Day because of the red from the cherries.  They are very festive.  And you could also make a batch with the green cherries available during the Christmas season - then you'd have red and green cookies.
I think I'll try that and see how it comes out.

I've entered this recipe in a contest that our local newspaper is having for holiday cookies.  Keep your fingers crossed for me.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Craft Show Banner

As I mentioned in a previous post, I did the First Christian Church Arts and Crafts show this past weekend.   Well, when I was getting my stuff ready to go, I realized my booth sign that I've been using for awhile (and is totally homemade out of foam board) specifically stated that I sell unique jewelry.  And while I did plan to have a few pieces of my jewelry there, my main focus was my aprons, hair accessories and the little wooden initial pendants that I only make for craft shows.

So I made me a new sign.  I wanted to make a bunting but didn't have the time to make a real fabric one.  So, I used foam board (I recycled my old sign!), scrapbook paper that I already had and letters that I printed off a free site on the internet.

I mod podged the scrapbook paper to the foam board and then glued the letters on.  We clothespinned all the triangles to a jute string and pinned it to the table.  I think it came out pretty good.

Although, it did confuse some of the customers who thought I was selling it by the letter.  I think I probably should have made the triangles smaller.

Ironically, the church always has a bake sale table at the show and they were also selling buntings made out of construction paper by the little kids Sunday school class.  They were very cute.  And I want to say kudos to whoever made the cheesecake brownies that my son bought at the bake sale.  He ate them all so they must have been good. :)  It was the first time he stayed with me through a whole show.  It was nice having him there.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Surgery Day

Today is surgery day. 
Mr. Frankenstien and yellow Duckie need surgery because their guts are coming out.

It was touch and go on yellow Duckie for awhile.  We didn't think he would make it.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Yummy Shortbread

For several months now, I've been on a "healthy" sweets kick.  I love sweets and I'm not even going to lie and say I try to lay off of them.  I usually eat something for dessert after lunch and dinner, even if it's just a handful of M & M's.  Don't get the wrong idea though.  I'm very careful with my portion size - I don't sit around eating a whole pie or anything. :)

My son also seems to have inherited my love of sweets.   But since my husband and I both have high cholesterol and high triglycerides, it's almost a sure bet that my son will also have them.  And, because of the fat content, preservatives, hydrogenated, saturated etc. goop in all the prepackaged sweets (like Little Debbie for example), I felt like I was poisoning my kid everytime I put something like that in his lunch box.  But you have to put something sweet in their lunch boxes.  I mean, geez, that's the best part of lunch.  **Side note:  I'm also trying to eliminate packaged cake/brownie/cookie mixes because they contain the same hydrogenated preservative poisons that the other packaged sweets have.

That's when I decided to just start making my own.  I have a ton of recipes that I've never tried because we always try not to have too many sweets in the house.  But the fact of the matter is, we are going to eat something sweet after a meal even if we have to scrounge around until we find expired chocolate chips or old stale stuck together marshmallows.  Isn't it healthier for me to make something from scratch that I can control what goes into than to eat whatever we can find because we're desperate for sugar?  Well, I think it is.  (that's my arguement and I'm sticking to it!!)  

So, this past summer, I did some research on the least toxic forms of fat to bake with.  And what I came up with was I Can't Believe It's Not Butter - for margarine, and 100% all vegetable shortening - for shortening.  If a recipe calls for oil, I use (and have for several years) extra light Olive Oil - usually Bertolli brand because I like it best and you can by a large jug of it at Sam's for a good price.  I usually use real eggs though I occassionally use egg substitute but really, eggs are actually good for you.  Yes, they're high in cholesterol but when you're talking about putting 1 or 2 in a cake or cookies, it's not that big a deal.  Plus, they're high in protein.  

So, about once per week, I bake up something yummy from scratch.  I've shared several of the recipes I've made on my blog but I plan to start sharing more.  Some of them I get from (my fav recipe site) and some from cookbooks or magazines.  If it's a new recipe that I'm trying, I write a little note on it saying what we liked or how I can make it better.  If it doesn't come out like I hoped, I chunk the recipe.  This has been really fun for me because I LOVE to bake and now I can without feeling guilty about it.  I've stopped buying packaged sweets almost completely.  I do still occassionally buy reduced fat Oreos, just because I like them.  But for the most part, it's all handmade.

Here is last weeks recipe - Shortbread.  I originally got this recipe from a really old cookbook that my mom had when I was a kid.  I love shortbread because it's crunchy but my son wasn't real crazy about it - ironically for the same reason.  He prefers his cookies to be gooey.

Shortbread Ingredients:
2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup butter or margarine, softened
1/2 cup confectioner's sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. double acting baking powder
2 Tablespoons sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Measure all ingredients into large bowl except sugar and cinnamon.  Mix at medium speed.  Pat dough into a 9" x 9" baking pan.  In a cup, mix sugar and cinnamon together and sprinkle over the dough.  Bake 30-35 minutes.  Cut into bars while warm.  Makes about 20 cookies.

**I hope my post doesn't sound too preachy.  I'm not trying to condemn anyone else for what they eat.  This is just something that I'm doing for my family.  It doesn't mean I think you're poisoning your kid for giving them a Little Debbie cookie or anything.  Please don't take it that way.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Holiday Bazaar

This coming Saturday, November the 13th, Handmade Whimzy will be at the Holiday Bazaar at First Christian Church on the corner of Broadway and Loop 323 in Tyler, Texas from 9 am to 4 pm.

I'll be taking all my stock with me and it may or may not come back to my online shop.  SO, if there is an apron that you had your heart set on, nows the time to buy.  I won't be making any more Christmas aprons this year, so when these are gone, they're gone.

Keep your fingers crossed that this will be a great show!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

A Special Request

Remember the bottle cap pincushions that I made here way back in September?  Well, at that time, my son asked me to make him a mushroom pincushion, like the mushrooms in the Mario game.  He gave me a little metal mushroom, that he had gotten with candy inside, to use as a guide.
So this is what I came up with:

I worked on it most of yesterday.  They're little but it takes a long time to cut out all those little pieces and then sew them on.
I think it came out pretty cute and I got a thumb's up from my Ben, so it must have been good.
(I've been trying to make this post for a week but couldn't upload my pics.  Suddenly, I was able to.  Go figure.)

What is wrong with blogger?

I've been attempting to make a post for several days now but blogger won't let me upload pictures.  Anyone have a clue what's wrong?

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Big SALE! Time to shop for upcoming holidays!

Etsy Texas Crafters is hosting their monthly First Monday Sale tomorrow, November 1st.

My sale for Handmade Whimzy is 10% off all aprons and 20% off everything else - all day Monday BUT since I'm posting this a few hours before midnight, I will honor my sale on all purchases made starting now!  GO!

I'll post the link to more sales when I get it.  Happy Shopping!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Happy Halloween!

Look what my mom and dad brought me back from the pet store today! 

It's Mr. Frankenstien!!

I love Mr. Frankenstien!

I like to chew on him and play tug of war with him.  He's a fun guy.

Happy Halloween from Mac the dog!
(Ugg!  I had no idea the dog hair on my son's rug would show up so bad in pics.  He vacuums his rug every Sunday but his fat little dog sheds like nothing you've ever seen before - but we love him anyway.)

Sunday, October 24, 2010


I've come to help Momma sew. 

I'm a good helper.

Why is this thing in my face?
My Sparkles has turned 13.
She can be sweet sometimes but mostly she's mean.  But we love her anyway - well, I do.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Santa Apron

I listed a fun new apron in my etsy shop today.  Happy Santas on a blue background.
My blog posts may be scarce for awhile because I'm trying to stay off the computer and get some sewing done. 
But, if I'm able to do the projects that I have planned for this weekend, then I'll have some fun pics for you all soon.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

What have I been doing?

What in the world have I been doing for this past week that I didn't make any blog posts? 
I have no idea but I was busy the whole time.

My son's 12th birthday was yesterday.  :(
He's growing up so fast.  He's at least a foot taller than all the boys in his class and his voice is changing and getting so deep.  This morning he said something to me from the other room and I thought it was my husband talking.  He's as tall as me and is wearing men's size clothes.  So sad.  Where did all the time go?
I remember pushing him in the buggy at Target while he ate goldfish crackers and left a trail of crumbs all over the store.  Now, I think he could push me in the buggy.

So anyhow, I spent last week shopping for gifts and getting ready for his Birthday party sleepover that was this past Friday night.  He didn't want me to decorate or do anything that was 'kiddish', so I didn't even buy party plates or anything.  They just ate their plain cake on our regular kitchen dishes.  Other than the cake, I don't have any pictures of his actual party because I don't like to post other people's kids pics online.
Oh well, he and his friends seemed to have fun anyway.  I hope he had a great birthday.  Only 4 more birthdays and I guess we'll have to get him a car - so that he can drive away from his mother (sob).  I'm so sad now.

Here's my baby with his fat dog, Mac.  Bless his heart, I think we need to strap him to a treadmill.

Here's my little family.

And here's my baby with his grandparents.
And now back to sewing.  I have a craft show coming up in November, so I'd better get my rump in gear.