Sunday, March 30, 2008

Natural Kids

Good Morning!

Featuring another member of the Natural Kids team today.
Her work just blows me away. I wish I had been more of a
'natural kids' type mom when my boys were little. I'm afraid
that plastic had a prominent place in our house. My oldest
son, Noah, had a fascination with little cars. I did buy him wooden ones, but they were nowhere near as fascinating as the 'hot wheels' type.

Well, I can feel good about the fact that we spent an enormous amount of time in the woods, outside, Throwing rocks into the creek was a favorite pasttime, and took up a good part of just
about every weekend. Max, my younger son, was
just talking about the fact that there are no creeks
in Arizona. He still misses that kind of fun.


The shop I am featuring today is dmollison. She is another doll
maker extraordinaire. There's a forum thread on etsy that
the natural kids women chat in often, and dmollison made dolls
of her friends on that thread! Check out her teapot doll!
Just brilliant!

Friday, March 28, 2008


There's this THING about Etsy - it's the community. If you hang out in the forums, you will find the most wonderful people (maybe a few crabby ones, but that's ok). There are people that are willing to go WAY out of their way to help out.
The people that run this BLOG are some of those people. It is called "All Things Handmade", and it is this amazing space where you can advertise your shop, and the items in it, by having your Etsy mini on it. What is an Etsy mini? It is a thumbnail of your shop. Your etsy mini shows 4 pics of your products, with a link to your shop. It's arranged by category on the blog. My etsy mini's are over on the right hand side of my blog, showcasing my best work.
It's like a catalog of some of the great work on Etsy. Anybody can be on there! No treasuries, curators, choosing for the 'gift guides' - just your work, right there, for anybody to see.
The folks who run this site get no rewards, paybacks, kick-backs, commissions.
SO run, don't walk to this site. Again, it is called Just click on the name and it will take you right there. Enjoy discovering new shops - and DON'T DELAY to get YOUR shop on there too!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008


I love stuffed animals, dolls, pixies, fairies. I don't care how OLD I am,
I just have never lost my fascination for these cuddly little creatures.

When I first started Woolies, I wasn't making stuffed animals, I was making the usual knitted things (my family got really tired of socks).

But I did have one or two felted llamas listed. They sold. I made
more.More sold. The shop evolved. I am animal crazy, always have been, so it makes sense that Woolies evolved into knitted stuffed animals.

ANYWAY, I love dolls, and one of my MOST favorite doll-makers on Etsy is Tiddlywinks. Each and every one of her dolls are unique,
adorable, and I want them ALL. I have one.....only one.......

Sunday, March 23, 2008

The Great Escape

This is a long story. Grab a cup of coffee.
We get up early. We both work for east coast companies; my husband leaves for work by 6am. He feeds the horses right before he leaves. Friday morning, he kissed me goodbye, and went out to feed. 2 minutes later, he was back in. "The horses broke out, they're gone". WHAT??? I ran to get some pants and shoes on (can't run around in pajamas) to go search. They couldn't have gone far. Right?

(we're in the midst of re-fencing our arena, and where the new fence is connected to the old fence, it broke - the bracket popped off, probably cause one of the horses was rubbing on it).

We can see their hoofprints, but only for a few feet - then it is gravel road. No prints visible.

2 hours horses. I've called the police, a nearby vet. My husband is still driving around the world looking. I have blisters on my feet cause never put on socks. I've run more miles than I've walked in the past 6 months. What to do? Panic is starting to set in.
2 women are walking their dogs down my dirt road. I run out to them to tell them my story and ask them to look.

OK, Now I'm Set. Socks, Sneakers, halter and lead line in hand, sunglasses on. Cell phone. I head out the driveway. Remember the 2 women? They are down the end of my street, calling to me. They found hoofprints! Down my dirt road, across a main road (thank god no horses lying in the road, hit by a car) down a dirt driveway. TRACKS! I am tracking them. I know these are my horses - there are 2 sets, one with shoes on, one with shoes off (my mustang does not wear shoes). There are houses here, but each house sits on many acres, so there is LOTS of open land. I follow the tracks. And follow them. and follow them. How far have they GONE? all of a sudden I am right behind a house, and OH NO a paved driveway. I lose their tracks. FINALLY my husband answers his cell phone. I wait for him, and we start tracking together. We find the tracks again (PHEW) - they headed south on a dirt road - lots of gravel, but tracks can be found every 6-8 feet or so. I'm starting to be really hopeful. We know this road, we've ridden down this road.

Up ahead there is a fabulous property - she has horses, and a burro. Do you believe it? The tracks go right down her driveway - OMIGOD There they are! In a STALL! FOUND! SAFE! They're HERE! Such relief. You should see the looks on their faces. They come up to us - Mom, we were LOST! We couldn't FIND YOU!!! This really nice lady took care of us!!!!!
We're safe.

Saturday, March 22, 2008


Etsy has a great feature where anybody can curate their favorites. Here is a beautiful Spring one, that singingbird put together. It features shops from the natural kids group, that I've been posting about. Their work is incredible! AND she also featured one of my pendants from buster and boo.

Thank you Birdy!!! CLICK on the picture so you can see all the beautiful work!

Friday, March 21, 2008

More Natural Kids

The work done by the members of the Etsy team,

Natural Kids, continually amazes me.

You have to check out this shop: haddy2dogs.

She is an artist - just LOOK at her work.

Her sculptures are incredible. The detail ... they are

needle felted - which is a process where you take little

needles with barbs, and poke it over and over again into

wool roving (wool before it is spun into yarn). I have one in my

shop - but wouldn't even dream of attempting anything like

haddy does. This is true soft sculpture, all natural, amazing.
Check out her shop!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008


Ah, it's never-ending. The photography issue, that is. I never seem to have enough light, although I have a light-box and 2 photography lights on either side. The table is set up right next to a window - lots of natural light as well.

AND I cannot decide on backgrounds, for my pendants at buster and boo. So I would love it if you would help me decide. As a thank you for helping me, if you want to purchase a pendant, and you would like FREE shipping, simply mention POLL in notes to seller at checkout.

The choices (for now, anyway) for backgrounds are




PLAIN (white or color)

Poll to your right

Monday, March 17, 2008


Yay! Another pendant giveaway!
Visit this blog
to win! Here's the pendant I'm giving away....

Natural Kids

There is this awesome Etsy street team (a team of shops that have something in common) called Natural Kids. Many of the members are Moms; many do at-home schooling; many believe in the Waldorf tradition of teaching. Waldorf is a method of teaching - here is an excerpt from Wikepedia:

" Learning is interdisciplinary, integrates practical, artistic, and intellectual elements, and is coordinated with "natural rhythms of everyday life". The Waldorf approach emphasizes the role of the imagination in learning, developing thinking that includes a creative as well as an analytic component." Many of the shops on
Etsy that are members of Natural Kids make toys - all natural toys.
My stuffed animals fulfill the Waldorf principals (except for the
safety eyes - plastic is rather a no-no). Here are just a few -
feast your eyes! The little dolls are done by a wonderful shop
called germandolls She also makes custom, traditional waldorf dolls, like this one - if I only had a daughter.... one day I might need to get one just for me!
I just have to share some of these shops with you, because they amaze me. Let me know what you think, and I'll be featuring more soon!

SNOW in the high desert!!!

Wow, am I back in Philadelphia?? The weather changed rather dramatically yesterday! It started as rain - we love rain here, because it doesn't rain 35 days in a row - or 18 weekends in a row as it did our last spring/summer in Philly.
But it got colder ... and colder.... and look what happened!!!

Sunday, March 16, 2008


Ya know, I have this thing for handspun yarns. Mohair (from angora goats - see baby pictures in previous posts), llama, alpaca, all kinds of wool. There is something about the textures, the smell, the feel. Sometimes my hands get softer when working with handspuns, because of the natural lanolin that is in it. Once, I needed black mohair for a project, and went to a commercial yarn shop. The mohair was horrible - it FELT chemically treated - which I am sure it was. yuck.
So I have found quite a few shops on Etsy that spin their own, from their own animals. It is the best. Maple Smith, from northstaralpacas, has some of the best yarn I've ever
encountered. I found some that I think she sent to me,
as a thank you, with an order.
This yarn is a blend of alpaca and wool. It is heathered -
she must have plied a bit of purple, and a touch of blue, in there.
I had 94 yards of it, exactly enough to make Beatrice. I
f you could only feel her!!!!! Thank you Maple!!!

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Giant Saguaro

The only place in the world that Giant Saguaro cactus grow is in the Sonoran Desert. That's where I am. I'm an ocean-kind-of-girl, who ever thought I'd be living in the desert? The desert isn't what you think of - there are not just vast wastelands of sand. There's tons of vegetation, trees (although not very tall), cactus. There are lots of things to stab you. All different kinds of cactus. None of which you want to touch. I've heard lots of stories of people falling into cactus, being thrown off of horses into cactus...then there are the jumping cholla cactus. You don't want to get too close to them, or the cactus will jump off and attack you. Seriously!
Our first house here was very pretty, in a development. However, still in the desert. I was planting flowers by the front door, near this huge agave plant - a succulent. It stabbed me in the upper arm. I couldn't lift my arm for a week. It has poison on the ends of the little spikes! Who knew??
Anyway, the giant saguaro don't grow arms until they are at least 50 years old. And they are protected - the builders building their vast armies of houses all right next to each other have to replant the saguaro. Or build around them. Here's one in my front yard...

New Shop

I feel like Etsy is crowded. I've been looking for new venues for my pendants, and I've found a few I'm going to try.
Here's the first one, here. There is no listing fee (yet) as it is a very new site. I only listed a few pendants, I wonder what will happen? It was very easy to get set up; took no time at all. For those of you that have slower sales on Etsy, give it a try! Here's one of the pendants that I listed there.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Oh My Gosh, Another Bunny!

This one's name is Chantelle, which means song, or to sing - in French. Ma grandmere was from France, so I have this thing for all things French. And apparently an obsession with bunnies as well.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Javelina !!!

What IS a javelina, you may ask?? Well, it looks like a wild boar. Sort of like a hairy pig. They can get to be pretty big. And did I tell you that they SMELL bad? Kind of like musk - skunk - can't describe it. But you can smell them way before you see them. They travel in packs. Wild. And they can be vicious.
When we first moved to Tucson, we lived in a very nice house in a development - about 900 houses in this development. Our house backed up to a desert area. There were mesquite trees on the other side of the fence. Mesquite trees have beans. Beans attract javvies. (prounced Havvies, our pet family name for them). We used to have PACKS of them almost every night at our back fence. I should have known better, but I used to go outside with carrots and apples, and they would poke their smelly faces through the fence at me and grab - right from my fingers - their treats. My dogs would go insane, so I would leave them inside while I played with my wild pigs. Good thing I didn't get my fingers chomped off.
THEN it was halloween. Do you know what is front of many houses at Halloween time? You guessed it - PUMPKINS. Big YUMMY Pumpkins. Javvies were all over the streets, going wild with pumpkins. You haven't lived until you've seen a sight like this!! (thank you wikepedia for the picture). I've tried to take pictures of them, but they travel at night, and my pictures are BAD. So are the Javvies. :0)

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Spring in the Desert

This is why people move to Tucson (yes, besides the mild winters). SPRING! is incredible here. Mild soft breezes, constant blue sky, FLOWERS everywhere (wild flowers) and everything is blooming.
This is a picture of a barrel cactus, with fruit. I'm sure in bygone era, the native americans ate this fruit. But now, it is the javelina that eat it. I'll write about the crazy javelina in another post....

Tuesday, March 11, 2008


So sales are slow at Buster and boo. I found a blog that does giveaways - and I KNOW she has more readers than at my newbie blog, so I contacted her and VOILA, she is doing a givewaway this week of one of my pendants.
It will be interesting to see how this experiment works - will I get more views? Will I make any sales? How many people will want to win a pendant? Will anybody??
I've been wondering if they are just not ... compelling ... enough.
Here's the link to the blog for the giveaway! Here is the pendant that is being given away!

Get Dressed!

Polly was purchased by a really lovely customer in Canada, but she did not want a naky bunny bun, so Polly got dressed. Had to show you the final picture, before she hopped into a mailer and went to the post office!

Sunday, March 9, 2008

I got tagged!

Ozknits tagged me. !!!
By blog rules that means I have to write seven random things about myself and then tag someone else. I'm not one to break blog law (or any law) so here goes it ...

1. I have ten animals. That is a lot by any standards. It includes 4 dogs (one puppy), 3 cats, 2 horses, 1 lizard. I have no claim to the lizard, he just lives here.
2. I let my husband make dinner almost every night while I knit or make pendants or hang out in the etsy forums. Isn't that nice of me? Isn't that nice of HIM?
3. I have two teenage boys. Motivated, and smart, and problematic...
4. I need to lose weight - and I'm pleased to report that I've lost 8 pounds since Christmas. :0)
5. I was a hippie in my younger years. Now you have an idea how old I am.
6. I love the outside.
7. I married my true love.
Now I have to tag someone ..... will it be you??
(Thanks Helen!!)

New Woolies Bunny

It's spring here in the high desert. The birds are so busy, I sit in my home office and watch them in the little courtyard. Bunnies are also busy. They are everywhere! Little cotton tails. Occasionally we are lucky enough to see jackrabbits - they are much bigger, with GIANT ears. But they are rare, and the cottontails are abundant.
So I made one for my Etsy shop - here she is!

Nothing like a baby goat!

OK, I admit it, I may be a bit obsessed. But you just cannot imagine how adorable these angora baby goats are! These are from Kathy's fiber ranch, which is just a few minutes away from our little ranch.
Check out this baby, I think her name is Willow.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Better Pictures?

Ok, so I've been playing around with backgrounds, lighting, macro settings - oh my!
Here's my latest offering for buster and boo pendants. Do you like this picture better than the one in an earlier post (scroll down)? Let me know what you think?? Thanks!!


My friend Kathy has 15 babies at her fiber ranch. !!! I can't wait to go over later today and see them !! (I'll be bringing my camera). Just had to share this picture...
She has lambs and baby angora goats....and spins the most glorious yarn from their fiber!!

Friday, March 7, 2008

Trouble with the new shop

So, my pendants are not selling at buster and boo. I KNOW it cannot be due to price, because I am only charging $10-$11 per pendant - which is actually a necklace because I have included either a ribbon necklace or silk cord, with sterling clasps. Quality. Well, I have sold two of them.
So, the question is, WHY? I would very much appreciate any input. I have a lot of new ones to list today, so am going to go play with the pics. They need to be compelling, and apparently are not compelling enough.
There are other shops on etsy selling similar items. Maybe too many? Maybe I don't have enough variety listed?
I also have them for sale at Bohemia Tucson, I wonder if they are selling at all there.....
Would very much appreciate ANY and ALL criticism, comments, suggestions!

Thursday, March 6, 2008

View from my road

We live on a dirt road. I grew up in the suburbs of a big city - Philadelphia, so to say that I live on a dirt road just puts the most gigantic smile on my face. My dream is to live on a dirt road that is 20 miles from my nearest neighbor.....not there yet! (I always seem to have noisy neighbors, dogs that bark 24/7 or blast really bad music). Anyway, that is Mt Lemmon - the highest peak in the Catalina mountains.

Monday, March 3, 2008

New for Spring

I found this fabulous suri alpaca, and just knew it would make an awesome lamb. Sometimes it is hard to part with my little animals, as I'm knitting them - I become so attached, and worry and ponder about their name.
I really should have a contest one day, to help me name them!
Anyway, here is Suri, a little baby lambie. Let me know if you think of a better name for her! (isn't tom cruise's (yuck) baby named Suri?? or am I crazy - very possible!)

Sunday, March 2, 2008

High Desert

We are from Philadelphia, so the move to Tucson was a BIG change for us. We love it here, and the incredible beauty of the high desert will never cease to amaze me.
Tucson is surrounded by mountains. We live in the foothills of a small mountain range, the Tortolitas. To our immediate east is the Catalinas - the highest peak is Mt Lemmon, at over 9000 feet. There is snow up there - one road up - with a ski resort at the top (no, not a big resort, just a few runs). Catalina state park is where I used to ride Dozer, and many times riding there I thought I had fallen into a wild west movie.
Here's a pic of a the Canyon Del Oro wash - this is dry MUCH of the year, but when the rains come in the summer, or the snow melts, this can turn into a raging river.