Saturday, December 31, 2011


My Mom died on New Years Eve, 1982. She had just turned 56. She died of breast cancer.

My Mom taught me how to knit, sew, and be an independent woman. She taught me lots of other things too.

I still miss my Mom, 29 years later. I like to think that she would be proud of me, my children, my husband, our home, my little Woolies business.

I have lots of beautiful things my Mother made - here's one I wanted to share with you.

This ornament is always on our Christmas tree, so I can remember her hands making this.

Happy New Year!

Monday, December 26, 2011

The journey begins....

Happy Holidays!

I've been crazy busy.

I lost my job on November 3rd, one day before my birthday.

Then all HECK (not the word I'd like to use) broke loose!

I've been knitting 15 hours/day since then. Packaging tons and tons of typewriter key jewelry sales.

Two BIG craft fairs. Huge successes, both. Tons of work and tons of fun.

Had a sale on Belle Chic.

To be honest - I don't know how in the world I would have handled my websites, craft fairs, AND my corporate executive job - which also would have required me to travel to Cincinnati for a week the Monday after Thanksgiving.

So....maybe it was a good thing they laid me off? Time will tell....I am still very very stressed about it all. About the future. Long term financial
I wake up at 430AM most days....heart pounding....
What will I do? I'll save those thoughts for another post...

Sometimes my customers have such great ideas. I had a request for a custom order - a college student (who just happens to be attending school in my hometown - and who is from not far where we live now...weird??) wanted a teddy bear for her boyfriend. She and her boyfriend are big Aladdin fans. She wanted the Teddy to look like Aladdin....

How did I do??

Monday, November 14, 2011

Woolies Featured

on the Front Page of Etsy! What a thrill to open a global website and see one of your items there.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Branding Your Business

Years ago, when I first opened Woolies, I had an idea of what I wanted my banner and avatar to look like. I wanted a little girl knitting. I had a wonderful designer create my banner. Here it is:

This has been my banner since 2007. I love the happy knitting girl!
Your banner is the first thing a potential customer sees when they visit your shop. It defines you, don't you think?

But are the bright colors conveying what my shop is all about? What is my shop all about? Old fashioned toys, all natural, heirloom quality. The bright colors convey happiness, but what about a vintage feel? What about Waldorf-inspired?

A friend on Etsy created this banner for me:

And I'm in the process of working with another designer - this is what she has come up with, so far:

We're tweaking the font, and think will switch the dark bunny for a lighter one.

What do you think??

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

How is this possible?

I am unemployed. Isn't that crazy? This is the first time in 30 years that I have not had a job. They laid me off. In a blink of an eye, my great salary is gone. Security is gone. 9 years of working for one company - gone.

I could dwell on the negatives.

I'm not going to.

When one door closes, another opens.


I have joined the ranks of the 9.whatever % of the unemployed in the US. Crazy. Should I go protest with Occupy Tucson?

A lot of changes in my life in the past few months; a lot of losses.

I'm fighting back, just to let you know.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween!

I love this time of year. Even in Tucson Arizona, it's cooling off finally. I used to love to greet trick or treaters at the door; and take my kids around the whole neighborhood. Those days are gone; kids are older; we live off the beaten path, so no trick or treaters here.

Please enjoy these awesome Halloween items from my fellow Natural Kids Team members!

And don't eat all the candy!!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

I'm Moving!

No, not moving to a new home. I keep writing these cryptic Titles!

I'm MOVING. As in - moving my body. Off the couch.

If you saw my previous post about losing weight, that's where this is coming from.

After tracking my food for a few weeks, it becomes apparent that it's not the food that is making me pudgy.

It is the fact that I'm not moving enough.

So I've started moving.

I joined Curves. My health insurance covers it! No money! Free! I was talking about it with a friend last Tuesday. And when I hung up the phone, I said - what am I waiting for?? I went and joined. I went 4 times last week: Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday morning.

No excuses.

Also this weekend, hubby and I did stuff. We went some places. We went to the farmers market together and walked around. I came home and planted lettuce. Today we went to a local festival (to check out the vendors), and walked around.

The key word: Walked. No, nothing strenous. But: not on the couch.

I knit - a lot. My little side business, Woolies, requires lots of knitting. And my day job requires me to be on the computer all day. Sitting. A Lot.

So I figure everytime I can get up and move is better than sitting.

I'm planning to get one of the old bikes hiding out in our garage into a functioning state.

And then there are my horses.......that is a long story involving a broken back and lost confidence. So we'll see....

The broken back is what got me into this current pudgy state.

But I'm moving.

And so is Myrtle, who still keeps trying to climb out of her habitat. :(

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Loss of a Friend

No, she didn't die. But she is no longer part of my life.

I won't regale you with all the stories.

But when someone has been a part of your life for almost half of your life, the loss is hard.

It got too hard. Too difficult. Too fraught with tension. I got really tired of tip-toe-ing around. I got tired of not saying what was on my mind. So I stopped.

I got tired of being 'friends' with someone, when it was all about her. My stuff didn't matter.

She's a difficult person; always has been. But that was ok for a long time. And then it just got to be not-OK anymore.

I'm not saying that I am perfect.

She got really vicious at the end. It showed me that she was filled with hate and malice. The emails were written to stab and hurt; and they did.

So I'm sad. But relieved at the same time.

But more sad. Than glad.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Long Ago Doll

I must have been about six years old. I was given a doll, I'm sure it must have been at Christmas-time. I was such a tomboy, I didn't play a lot with dolls. I was too busy outside - climbing trees, and riding the ponies at the stable next door. Exploring the woods and fishing in the stream nearby.

But I did play with this particular doll. I loved her. She slept with me. I cut her hair, of course. She only had a couple sets of clothes, and they are long gone.

But I still have her.

Her name is Pitiful Pearl. Does anybody remember this doll?

She sits in my closet, with a few other old toys of mine. She likes it in there, she's told me.

About 15 years ago, Pearl got some new eyes at the doll hospital. She got cleaned up a little.

I thought of her today; I think she wanted to come out and play.

Say hello!

Monday, October 10, 2011


I need to lose weight. 30-40 pounds.

Last winter I lost 15 pounds - a great start.

I gained most of it back this summer. Summer in Tucson = too hot to go outside, enjoy the pool, even. I do not do well in the heat.

OK, it's nice out now. I feel motivated.

But I know what will happen.

I'll start walking again. I'll do it for a month or so. Then I'll get sooo bored with it.

I can ride my horses. But I've sort of lost my joy of riding (following a really bad accident a few years ago involving a broken back...). So now it feels like work. I work a lot - full time day job, 2 etsy shops....I don't have time for more work.

Do I have to join a gym? I don't know that I can commit to it, timewise. It's expensive. But I think my health insurance might cover some of it. I hate the gym.

Should I invest in a treadmill-type device for home?

Why can't I do this?

My friend took diet pills and lost 40 pounds. She didn't sleep for months. I don't want to take diet pills.

Meanwhile, I promise you, I do not eat cookies and cake all day. I eat lots of fruit and veggies. Water. Milk, even. I don't know why I'm fat.

I need a magic potion.


Sorry, no pictures that I want to post to go along with this. (My sis-in-law took a family picture last weekend, she is a little person. I am standing next to her feeling like a beast).


Saturday, October 1, 2011

Just had to share

This is my kid, taken by a friend while out hiking in the foothills of the Tortolita mountains. Isn't this a great shot??

Sometimes the beauty of this land takes my breath away.

Sunday, September 25, 2011


knitted to look like

Richard Scarry's Nicholas the bunny from I am a Bunny

Did I do ok?


Monday, September 19, 2011

New friend needs a name!

We live in Arizona. Land of lots of different wild animals, and one of my favorites - the Sonoran Desert Tortoise. There are adoption programs, and I've always wanted to adopt one. But you have to build them a habitat - there are specific guidelines online. My hubby was never motivated enough to do it with me. I was never motivated enough to do it alone.

And then Saturday came along. And hubby was driving down a busy road. And what was trying to cross the busy road?? If he had not stopped, the next car would have driven over the tortoise.

So, guess what hubby brought home to me??

We were worried that if we put him back where we found him, that he would be killed. We debated releasing him back into the wild - maybe a state park nearby. We're still debating. To be honest. It doesn't seem right to capture him. But can you relocate them? I couldn't find anything online that told me. If this guy goes back to the wild, then at least I will have a habitat ready for the official adoption process.


After an entire weekend of moving rocks, gravel, railroad ties, slate, more rocks...after an entire weekend of babysitting Mr or Mrs Tortoise who was very insistent that he could climb over said railroad ties and rocks and then time after time ended up flailing on his muscles are sore. We're tired. And we seem to have adopted a desert tortoise.

He/she is very busy. He can move much faster than you might think! He lets me pet him. He likes to sniff me. He stops and looks at me when I talk to him. He goes to bed at night in the shelter we made for him. He ate some of his food today. He pooped this weekend, very exciting.

You're allowed one tortoise per household. They live 100+ years. My guess is that this guy is maybe about 5-10 years old. After I get over my exhaustion, I'll look it up online to figure out gender and age.

He-she needs a name! I need suggestions! Myrtle the Turtle was
suggested and declined.


His habitat is not quite finished. We need to plant the rest of the desert grasses we bought for him. His winter (hibernation) habitat is not finished weekend!

So please leave your name suggestions! Thanks!!

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Friday, September 2, 2011

{this moment}

{this moment} a friday ritual...a single words-capturing a moment from the week. A simple special extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause,savor and remember. Inspired by SouleMama.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Snake Season

My hubby caught a snake last night. And brought it inside to show us. It's snake season - September is when you have to be very careful.

I pulled in the driveway today, and saw a snake slither his way into the garage, not sure how he did that. I saw his tail - not a rattlesnake.

This guy is a king snake. We like them. They eat rats and rattlesnakes. This one was really little, and super angry that he was all of a sudden in a glass container. Don't worry, we put him back outside right away.

Kinda cool, Kinda creepy.

Which one do you think - cool or creepy???

Monday, August 22, 2011

Good Luck

I need some Good Luck. I can't tell you about it, but it has to do with this bunny.

Is there a good luck saint? I need to pray to her, or him. Please let me know! I need more than just fingers and toes crossed. :)

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Craft Fair Booth

HELP. My craft fair booth is the worst ever. It doesn't feel organized, it doesn't have a 'flow' to it, I'm not utilizing all of my space.

My problem is I have two completely different products in my booth - jewelry and stuffed animals. ( and

My problem is also that I am a terrible decorator? Or possibly just a moron.

One thing I'm about to do is order a banner for Buster and boo. It will say, in giant letters, TYPEWRITER KEY JEWELRY. It will hang across the back of the booth.

I have a display of a very vintage typewriter at the front of my booth - which does draw attention. But it's awkward. I wish I had a genuine vintage typewriter table. In fact, I'd really like to have more 'furniture' as a method of display. But I must stay within the confines of my booth.

I have a really cute Woolies pennant thingy (cannot think of the right name). I'm going to hang that at the entrance to my booth.

What do YOU use to utilize all of your space? To NOT have people looking DOWN all the time? Do you have everything tagged with prices? Or do you have a sign with prices? (I have both - Woolies are all priced individually, and there is a sign for Buster and boo items).

I think a proper display-booth would make a lot of difference.

I need HELP. I am not a great interior decorator. Let me know if you're available for hire. Sheesh. I am pathetic. I'm embarrassed to show you these pics. :(

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Dental Problems

I hate the dentist with a violent passion. I'd rather have major surgery than a dental procedure. So I wasn't thrilled when my recent appointment with the torturer indicated that I needed quite a few procedures.

I came home and promptly had the worst migraine headache ever. Complete with flashing lights. Come to think of it, I don't think I've ever had those flashing lights before.

Then I cancelled the necessary appointments.

Of course, my dental insurance doesn't cover most of this.

Anybody have a spare few thousand dollars? I don't.

Um, no, these are not my pearly whites.


Thursday, August 18, 2011

American Wild Horses

I urge you to take notice of the plight of the wild horses of America. The BLM (Bureau of Land Management) is continually rounding up and removing wild horses from our lands.

Please visit and get involved. Thank you.

Photo credit to Wild Horse

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Leaving Home

My oldest son is leaving today. We are taking him to college.

Part of me thinks, how can that be? Isn't he just 5 or 6 years old?

Part of me thinks, he is ready.

Part of me wonders, how will I cope without him here? Without seeing him everyday? Without hearing his footsteps as he comes in late at night? (He's got a very busy social life...)

Will I panic if I don't hear from him? I won't know where he is all the time. He won't just be at school, or at work, or at his friends house.

He could be anywhere.

He'll never really live here again. He'll come home to visit. He'll never really live here again?

He'll never really live here again. Just visits. Brief times together. It will never be the same.

I'm a terrible worrier. He's promised to call everyday, or at least text.

He is a young man.

He is an adult.

I thought I had taught him good judgement. Except, once, this summer, he proved me wrong there.

Will he use his good judgement? Please, use your good judgement.

He is a strong and independent person. He is ready to leave home.

Will he be ok?

Yes, I think he will.

But will I?

He is my child. I love him so.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Beach Finds

Sea urchin - how cool! Swept in on the waves with kelp. This beach is sort of a cove, and there was TONS of kelp.

Pacific Beach, California

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Wednesday, August 3, 2011


5am, sound asleep, until a noise wakes me up. What was that? I start to doze off again....then hear it again. Thunder! The storm builds in intensity, obviously it is directly over our house. Constant giant claps of thunder, blinding lightning. Torrential rain.

It's all over in 15 minutes.

No going back to sleep now. Time to get up and start the day. I take the dogs outside. And am greeted by this.


Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Far Away Places

I know someone who lives in Benoni, South Africa. Her name is Linda. I love to read her blog, with great stories of their life there.

It's hard to imagine life in South Africa. Benoni is near Johannesburg. It doesn't look rural; it certainly doesn't look like what you'll see on the Nature Channel on TV - no zebras or hyenas nearby.

I'm intrigued and entranced. It's funny, because I know Linda feels the same about where I live - the southwest of the US. The desert.

So vastly different from each other.

(just found this picture on the internet, it's a holiday rental property - looks so lovely!)

And I nabbed this from Linda's blog - (also saw pics of this on the internet) - it's a bird sanctuary, that is near their home.

As I tell my kids - it's a big big world out there. See it. Live it. Experience it. Go visit Benoni!

What was slithering

in my yard? About 16-18" long...without it's head or tail....and was it a tail that rattled??


Can you tell what kind of snake it is by the skin???

PS hubby came home and looked at it with me. hard to tell from the picture, but there's a smaller piece of skin. It's from the tail. It was a rattlesnake. Hubby says they are travelers, they don't stay in one place. But I also know that they have territories, and never stray outside of approximately that mile. So he's around here somewhere, although I checked our entire property, and did not see him.

Saturday, July 23, 2011


Winner was #4, chosen by (Blogger won't let me upload the picture of the random number generator, sorry about that!)

In honor of reaching 2400 sales at Buster and boo, I'm celebrating with a giveaway!

Winner will receive the pendant of their choice in my shop. It could be a typewriter key pendant made with the letter of your choice - in the color and font of your choice:

It could be one of our unique pendants made with an image that is set in a vintage typewriter key setting, like this one:

But I need your help.

So, in order to be entered to win, you'll need to do a few things.

1. Leave a comment here.

For additional entries,

2. I've started working on my Facebook page. Please go visit and 'Like' my page:

and let me know about it here.

3. You could also visit my Woolies Facebook page here:

and let me know about it here.
The giveaway will continue until Wednesday, July 27th, at midnight. A winner will be chosen via random number generator on Thursday morning.

The winner can then visit Buster and boo, and let me know what they'd like!

Good Luck!


Sunday, July 17, 2011

I Love The Rain

Just a quick one - I heard the thunder for a little while, and saw that out of the northeast windows of the house there were black clouds, but outside of the south side of the house, there was blue sky.

Typical monsoon clouds.

All of a sudden - the giant clap of thunder and a downpour. I go running outside with the dogs. I do happy rain dances.

It's all over in about 10 minutes.

More more more, I want more....

Thursday, July 14, 2011

What do you do?

What do you do when your almost-grown-up child does something that you just cannot believe?

That is dangerous, and reckless, and goes against everything you've ever taught him?

Your level-headed kid who is so smart. Whose friends sometimes do these kinds of things, but he doesn't.

I took his car away. I told him that there is no way he is going away to school in 3 weeks if I cannot trust him. I told him that I needed to keep him safe, and if letting him out of my sight means he puts himself in danger, then he is not allowed out. That I didn't raise a kid to be almost 19 to stand by while he risks his life.

What else do you do?

Tuesday, June 28, 2011


wish I was a happy piglet in the sun.....

(112 degrees in tucson yesterday...)

by amberalexander, one of my very most favorite artists that I ever discovered on etsy....

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Tree Man

Have you ever been to a Renaissance Festival? I remember the first time I went, there was a giant (12 feet tall) tree guy, just kind of wandering around. (I asked my brother if he has pics, as he loves the Festival..waiting to hear back).

Anyway, I was knitting a tree, and then it became apparent that it had to be a person. Tree Buddy. Tree Guy. Tree Friend.

Yes I know, my family thinks I'm crazy too.

Anyway, you can find my tree friend at Woolies. :)

Friday, June 24, 2011

(this moment)

A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. Inspired by Soule Mama.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Enough Already

1. Car wreck
2. Remaining car breaks down (again)
3. MAJOR MAJOR Central Air conditioning repair needed - in the middle of June heat - 108-110 degrees this week
4. Bank Account Hacked - just as we're trying to buy a new car for the totaled truck and have to put some $$ down - money is stolen from the account. Lots of it. They hacked both my husband's and my debit cards - how did they do that??

OK, I'm done now. Please stop. Thanks.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Something you might like

Art. Isn't that when something reaches out and grabs your heart?

Original work by BlueDogRose.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

The Big Man

A long time ago, in a place far away, lived a girl named Sara.

There was the summertime weekend at Asbury Park, when she and her college friends, who were all on the concert committee, walked into a bar to hear a local band. They were amazing, and asked them to come play at our school. They said Yeah.

They played at our school even after their first album came out. And again. And again.

Backstage with the band, there was one band member who was so friendly, such a great smile.

Years go by, many concerts later, Sara had a boyfriend. He had been the sound man for the E Street Band for many years. They used to go to parties, and there was that same guy from the band, always a friendly smile, something sweet to say.

May you rest in peace, Clarence Clemons.