Monday, October 19, 2009

How can my addiction help others?

Addiction?  Relax, don't get too worried.  My addiction is to yarn and things to knit and crochet.  Ever since I started learning how to crochet in January of this year and now knitting, I love to buy yarn and find things to make.  Well I've found myself attracted mostly to hats and scarves and small projects.  Funny thing is, I don't really care to wear hats.  I have sold a few in my shop, but I have many waiting for new homes and I haven't stopped having the urge to make more.

So, recently I've been asking myself, how can this addiction to yarn and making things from them help others?  Well, I believe a few ideas have been revealed to me recently.  Why am I sharing this info with others, why not keep my addiction in the closet and deal with it in secrecy? Well that just wouldn't be any fun at all and those hats are looking for heads to keep warm.

My goal is to reach out to a cancer center and donate hats to them for the patients to pick out one of their liking to keep their heads warm and hide the effects of treatment - loss of hair.  The second idea running through my head is to provide some items to our local homeless shelter.  They are always in the need of hats, scarves, mittens, coats ( now I don't make those, but can find donations), blankets, and many other items that can be made by hand or donated.

Girl you have lofty goals, how are you going to do all this by yourself?  I don't plan on doing this alone.  I know there are many people locally who love to knit, crochet and sew.  I am hoping to get pledges from folks with amount of items they would like to make and donate.  The weather is already turning cool, so I don't have a lot of time to complete my goal, but with the help of others I know I can get it done.  I would like to have at least 50 items available for donation to both a cancer center and St. Francis house by the end of November.  Please help me spread the word.  Do you like to knit, crochet or sew?  Would you consider making and donating at least one item to the cause?  You can designate if you would prefer the item to be given to the cancer center or to St. Frances.  If it's for cancer patients please make your items very soft.  There are several patterns online that can give you ideas of what to make and what materials to use.  For the homeless, please consider making the items gender neutral and/or making something that young people would be proud to wear. 

If you would like to contact me with your pledge please reply here or email me at designsbyjenai (at)

I believe with a little help from others within this community I can reach my goal by the end of the month.  For those of you who don't do any of those crafts but would like to contribute, I would also accept new, unused or gently used (in good condition) hats, scarves, gloves, jackets, and blankets.

Thank you for helping me with this challenge and spreading the word.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Facebook Connections - What an Awesome Tool

Photo by: Jenai Collins Bee and flower on UF campus

For those who know me, it is no surprise that family bonds and connections are very important to me. To those of you who are getting to know me through this blog well, now you know. I deeply treasure the bonds that are made with family and that includes family that we create through relationships. I have many family members in my life that were created not by marriage or by birth and to me those relationships are just as important as the traditional family.

This brings me to the purpose of this post, Facebook. Yes, I know there are many who don't like it, don't understand it, are scared of it and then there are those who are addicted to it. Some that probably share WAY TOO MUCH (TMI) info on it, but I believe if used with common sense it can be a fantastic tool to stay connected, reconnect and to make new connections with friends and family.

If you are anything like me, you struggle with letter writing and even picking up the phone. Don't know why, can't explain my aversion to taking the time to do it, I just never really cared for it much. However, oddly enough I always love receiving a letter from a family member or friend. OK so maybe it's laziness, I'll admit to that possibility, sheepishly. Yes, mom, I said it, plain laziness. I know, I know, how many times have you had to hand me a blank note card and pen and tell me, write it now and I'll send it. Oh yes, and I know that it has been in the very recent of time. ha,ha,ha! Thanks mom for not giving up on me and reminding me to do what needed to be done. Who says parenting ends at 18?

What's this have to do with facebook? Well, I guess in a few words it equals instant gratification. You can send a quick note to your loved ones and you know that a response is likely to be sent in a matter of either minutes, a few hours or in some unusual cases a few days. But, in the meantime, you can view their pictures, read their updates and feel like you haven't missed out on being involved in their life, regardless of miles that may separate you or the years that have passed that have separated you.

Over the past week I have been blessed to have the opportunity to reconnect with family members that I haven't seen or talked with in YEARS. Can't really say why or how we lost connection and maybe that's really not important. Forget the past and move on to today and hopefully the future. Also, the ability to stay in better contact with family members who I don't get to see on a regular basis, has been priceless. Then there is the factor of finding or being found by family that you didn't even know you had or have never met.

I must admit, it can all become very overwhelming and time consuming and I have not really had the chance to reach out to many of the family members that I have added as friends on my facebook account. I have cousins, aunts & uncles that I've never really met yet and it would be wonderful to finally have the chance to get to know them. Now the challenge is to find enough time to do it.

If you haven't delved into the world of Facebook, I say give it try. Talk with your family members and encourage them to open an account and watch how your connections bloom into a web of family, friends and classmates. You can choose to keep your info as private or public as your are comfortable with. But do note that anything you do online can eventually be seen or found in some way or another, so always use discretion and care with what you post online. Don't give out your phone #, address, etc. on your wall. Contact the individual directly either through facebook messaging or email and give them that info if you are interested in connecting through more traditional means. Be mindful of the pictures you post of yourself and others as well as what others post of you. Something that may really be innocent can sure look incriminating online or maybe might not shed the best light on you and your character. We've seen evidence of high profile folks who have made comments or posted info on facebook or other social networking services that ended up causing some kind of scandle or problem. Don't let this happen to you.

Facebook has also been a great way for me to share with friends and family my hobbies and personal business ventures, giving them an opportunity to show their support and encouragement. Each time someone makes a comment on a recent post or addition to my fan page it spreads virally to others who then become curious and take a peak at my business page or blog.

I would love to hear stories of your experiences on facebook. Have you found a long lost love, made a love connection, reconnected with a lost family member? Please share these with me. You can share your story in the comment section below.
Please remember that life can be short and at times fragile, so don't wait until tomorrow to say hello, I love you, just thinking about you, miss you, let's get together or whatever else may be in your heart or mind to say to a friend or family member. Do it today! Do it now! Trust me there may be a day that you will be thankful that you took the time to let that person know you were thinking of them. If facebook isn't for you, then find another way to connect with others and share in their lifes journey and let them experience yours as well. It is with these connections to others that we are really able to live a life full of love, joy, happiness and at times even saddness. Don't miss your chance to share these times with each other. Take a moment to encourage, congratulate, spread some joy to someone in your life that you may have lost touch with or with even those who remain in constant contact with.

Friday, July 17, 2009

My Niece Turns 3! This is her new blanket

The saying "time flies" is so true. My niece is turning 3 this Saturday. It seems like she was a tiny bundle just a few weeks ago. I feel so blessed to have my family close in distance so that I can watch my nephews and niece grow and can be a part of their lives as well as them be a special part in mine.

During a recent stay with my sister during the 4th of July I was working on a scarf and my niece kept questioning me about it. She wanted to know if that was her blanket, after repeated version on this I finally asked her if she wanted me to make her a blanket. She quickly said yes and when asked what color she would like she announced "Pink, Nai Nai", in a manner that suggested I should have known better. Would you believe that I had a whole pound of pink yarn in my car, purchased on a whim? It's true, it was meant to be.

So I played with a pattern that I found and tweeked it to my needs and came up with a border that would help top it off. I think it came out quite cute and I am looking forward to finding out what she thinks about it. Below is a picture of the small blanket.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Featured Sellers for the Month of July, etc

A few announcements in celebration of July!

In my shop, you will find many items with free shipping and all weekend long, I have a BOGO sale! Buy 1 item and get the second of equal or lesser value 1/2 off! Two great ways to save this weekend.

I have 2 new Etsy Mini's at the right from 2 wonderful and different Etsy Shops. Both of them will be here all month long. Topaz08 and DarlingDaisy were winners of my July Etsy Mini Contest, winning a full month of FREE space on my blog. Please check out their shops and let them know you found them here.

Topaz is also a fellow crocheter. Awesome handwork and unique pieces. Darling Daisy takes you back to the beach with each of her lovely pieces of jewelry. It reminds me of the family trips to the beach hunting for shells and playing in the sand.

I wish you and your family a safe and happy holiday!

Friday, June 26, 2009

Feature Friday #5

I didn't do much blogging this past week. I guess I've been tossing around my next promotional release idea as well as some other marketing plans, time just got away from me. I think I've got something in mind that I will anounce next week, so be on the look out.

The week has gone by faster than I expected. It helped that I had Monday off so it felt like each day was the previous one.

Before I announce my new featured seller of the week, I want to express my gratitude to several new people I have had the pleasure of meeting online. Each one has been a blessing in different ways but all so incredible, helpful and talented. Blaire of Good Karma Soaps, Mignon of Jewelry by Mignon, Anna of Betafly, and Trudy of Art by Trudy. These wonderful ladies have been helpful in many ways, each of them know what they've done and Ms. Trudy has been a great inspiration in overcoming some of lifes hardest challenges. Each one has their own unigue shop on Etsy and I would encourage you to take a look and also read their profiles and learn a bit more about them. A big hug to each of you!

Now, if you will look to the right of this page you will find my newest featured seller for this week. Jewelry by Mignon. Take a moment to browse around in her shop, give her a heart or find her on twitter and let her know I sent you to say hello.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Feature Friday #4

I am proud to introduce you to my featured seller of the week, Kate Gabriell of Flapperdoodle. She is the creator of Eloise and Ramona, the fashionable ladies, illustrated in the prints in Kate's shop. She is a young and talented artist and comes from a family full of talent. I would love to spend sometime with them, maybe some of the talent will rub off on me. LOL

Kate's line drawings are so stylish and I can imagine one of her characters wearing one of my crocheted hats and doing with such style and flair.

Take a peak at her art, her etsy mini is on the right side of this page, directly under mine and you can also find her at these other locations. Visit her and let her know I sent you. No, I don't get anything for you doing that, I would just like her to know that you saw her on my blog.

Kate and Flapperdoodle will be here all week and then next Friday I will introduce you to another great Etsy artist/crafter.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Blog Give-away Winners Announced

Wow, Blaire and I were so excited by the responses received during this give-away. It made it really hard when it came down to the decision making. Which caused a bit of delay in our announcement.

So, I won't hold back any longer - I know you've been waiting to here who the winners are.

(please stand by for a brief commercial message from our sponsors)

Nah, just kidding!

1st Place Winner - $25.00 @ Goodkarmasoaps
We chose Bella as first place because she had both a soap and marketing idea, congratulations!

2nd Place Winner - $15.00 @ Goodkarmasoaps
Wehav is second place with a great marketing idea of teaming up with other Etsy sellers.

3rd Place Winner - $10.00 @ Goodkarmasoaps
Third place is Oceanside with the sampler idea

Honorable Mention - $5.oo & FREE shipping @ Goodkarmasoaps
(couldn’t help it, there were just too many good ideas so I had to keep adding prizes) was Mignon

To claim your prizes, contact Blaire at good karma soaps by email customerservice@goodkarmasoaps and she will give you instructions on how to claim your prizes!

Thanks Blaire for sponsoring this fantastic give-away. Also, if you didn't notice she decided to increase the prize levels. She is always so sneaky like that. I should know. I just received a package from her with my exploding frog soaps that I ordered and ended up with a box of never ending soaps. Soap just kept coming out of my box. I couldn't believe by eyes. It reminded me of those clowns packed in the super small cars and they just keep coming out and coming out. Blaire has a huge heart for others and takes great care of her customers.

Ok, now on to the winners of my portion of the give-away. Thank you for following my blog, tweeting, and joining me on facebook! I've met several wonderful people and look forward to talking with you in the future.

Mignon - you have been chosen for my $10.00 gift certificate to be used in my shop. Congratulations!

Quilting Diva - I am happy to offer you the $5.00 gift certificate to be used in my shop.

Both of you can contact me for your instructions on how to redeem your prize, either by etsy convo or email: designsbyjenai at

Finally - for everyone else who participated, all of you are wonderful and had such great ideas and compliments I would like to offer you a choice of FREE shipping or 15% your next purchase in my shop. Just remind me when checking out or convo me and I will make sure I take care of you.

Before ending this post I would like to also offer you another way to save in my shop. I am going to start a referral plan in my shop. If you are interested in participating and would like more information, please leave me a comment here along with how I can reach you directly, so I can share the details with you.

Have a terrific Tuesday and remember to make someone smile today!

Friday, June 12, 2009

Feature Friday #3 - Hair Bow Depot

Phew, it's been a fun and busy day. I promised Kerry of Hair Bow Depot that she would be my featured seller for today and I am so happy that I am able to fulfill my promise. You can find her stores mini below mine on the right side of this page.

Reading her profile, I was tickled by something that caught my eye. She is a married mom of 3 boys! Yes, I said it - boys. LOL I can understand her wanting to break away from the usual boy inspired items. I have a son and 2 nephews so when the family was blessed with a girl, my niece, it was a refreshing treat. Now don't get me wrong, having a son is awesome. However, shopping for girl clothes and accessories is on a whole new level. I have to stay out of the little girl sections when I shop because I end up ooh'ing and aww'ing at every cute outfit and buying way too many.

Anyways, back to the reason I came here, check out this great etsy seller and her sweet products. Be sure to let her know I sent you.

Have a great weekend and come back on Monday to find out who the give-away winners are - could be you!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Still Feeling Dirty and Really Need Some Soap? 2nd Place Prize Announcement

Just received word from Blaire of Goodkarmasoaps and you won't believe what she told me. She was so excited by the responses and creative ideas that she was worried about our ability to pick only 1 winner. She has decided to offer the 2nd place winner a $10 gift certificate to be redeemed in her shop and not only that - there is a possibility of a 3rd place prize of $5.

That is a total of $35 in Goodkarmasoaps gift certificates.

Hold on - I can't let Blaire be the only one having fun giving stuff away! I am going to also give a second person who has signed up to follow my blog, etc at $5 gift certificate to be used in my shop.

So let's recap - our total in prizes has now become a combined $50. This is just too much fun.

Spread the word and keep those amazing ideas coming in!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Quote for the day

Saw this on a sign while running errands today and thought I should share it.

Coulda, woulda, & shoulda are all closely related to Didn't.

Chew on that for a minute.

Ok minute is up - now look one post down and register for my blog give-away. What do you have to loose? FREE soap and Free stuff from me - that's what!

Monday, June 8, 2009

Feeling Dirty - Win some soap!

See updated announcement above! More prizes added 6/11/09
Who couldn't use some soap - especially the FREE kind.

My new good friend and fellow Etsy seller wanted to do something nice for someone else. She would like to give someone a $15.00 coupon to use in her shop Goodkarmasoaps. Wow, $15 worth of FREE merchandise! What do you have to do to win? Let me tell you -

1. Take a look at her shop, just to get an idea of what she sells, come back here, leave a comment or suggestion answering one of the following questions.
a. Suggest a new soap you think she should make
b. Suggest a new smell - what is your favorite or what do you think others would enjoy
c. Suggest a new marketing idea that she should use in her shop

2. For an extra point, sign up to follow my blog

3. Twitter this give-away for another point -

Three very easy ways to enter this contest. Don't you think? Blaire and I will review the suggestions and pick our favorite, then add the extra points to that and we will find our winner. Winner will be announced next Monday! June 15, 2009 - so get your comments in and pass the word on through your blog, your facebook, and with your tweets.

Wait there is more!!!! For those of you who sign-up to follow my blog and become a fan on my facebook fan page, I will pick a winner to recieve a $10 coupon to use in my shop. Who knows you could win both coupons - $25 worth of FREE merchandise!!!!! Leave me a comment on my blog or facebook page letting me know you did both.
Winners will be announced next Monday, June 15, 2009.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Feature Friday #2

It's feature Friday time. TripleLdesigns is the recipient of my FREE Etsy Mini hosting special I have offered to several Etsy artist recently.

Her mini share a spot on my blog for the next week. I encourage you to take a moment to visit her shop and let her know you found her here.

Have a wonderful weekend and don't forget, Monday, I'll be announcing my next secret give-away. Come back for a chance at winning something wonderful and FREE.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Special Announcements

Good afternoon Friends!

I have several announcements that I wanted to share with you so I'll do it all in one post.

1. Upcoming Blog-Give Away - Check back on Monday. I will be announcing a special give-away sponsored by another Etsy seller. You won't want to miss this!
2. Etsy Yart Sale - I will be participating in Etsy's Yart Sale next week, starting on June 10th. I will be offering special deals on select merchandise, to include reduced prices, free shipping and other fun surprises that I think of by then. I have a special Yart Sale Section in my shop.
3. Twitter: I would love for you to find me on twitter. I will be tweeting secret Twitter Only Specials from time to time.
4. Charitable contributions: I have decided to donate 10% of my sales to a wonderful organization that I recently discovered, Gainesville Fisher House. This means that your purchases will also help others in my community. Want to learn more about the organization? Visit their link on my links section.
5. Feature Friday - I will be featuring another Etsy seller and her mini etsy on my blog tomorrow, check her out, find a few things you like and heart them or better yet, find something to buy. :-)

What is an Etsy Mini - I just heard someone ask the question, glad you asked, someone else may have been too shy to ask. It is way for sellers on Etsy to show you a few things that are offered in their shop and it is linked directly to their shop. So, all you have to do is click on one of the images and it will take you directly there. You can see mine on the top right and theirs is directly beneath mine.

Why are you posting someone else's shop on YOUR blog Jenai? Aren't you afraid that you will lose business? Heard that question too. Short answer would be: I just rock like that! Long truthful answer: I am nice like that and I do rock, but I have other reasons as well. I feel if we support each other, folks will find us (me, my shop). I am asking them to also let their friends, followers and enemies know about my blog and my shop as well. I am a firm believer in "you reap what you sow". As I help someone else, the favor will be given to me. Finally, I enjoy meeting new people and connecting with them and I get to do that with my blog, etsy shop and twitter.

Have a great Friday Eve and come back and check out my give-away announcement and Feature Friday.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Feature Friday

I am sure this is not a totally new and unique idea, but I decided to start doing it as it seemed like fun and a great way to meet other sellers on Etsy. OK - truth be told, I am also hoping new people will find me in the process as well.

Each Friday, I will post an Etsy Mini from that shop - can be seen on the right side of my blog underneath my little etsy mini. They will be there all week long for FREE. A little bit of free advertisement for them and they will mention me to their blog friends as well. One of those, you scratch my back and I'll scratch our back ideas. Like it? I do!

I've got my 1st two shops lined up and have several others that have expressed interest so I should be able to share several great shops with you each week for quite some time.

Also, I have heard from a little bird that one of my newest friends would like to sponsor a give-away right here on my blog. As soon as that is arranged I'll update you with the information. Of course that means you will need to check back here again soon. Trust me, you won't want to miss out on the opportunity - hey who doesn't like getting a FREE gift, no strings attached? I love it. I am carrying a great little pouch that I won recently - see below for more info on that.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Thoughts for Thursday

Photo by: Jenai Collins - Designs by Jenai
Titled: Take time to smell the flowers.

Happy Friday Eve!

I made a new friend yesterday, another awesome Etsy seller and she has a huge heart - Blaire of goodkarmasoaps. Her shop is full of fantastic soaps - with my must have, exploding frogs. Yes, I said it exploding frog soaps. I am going to win Aunt of the Year as I am ordering them for my niece and nephews.

Today she shared some words of wisdom from the Dalai Lama and I felt it was a great reminder to myself and wanted to share it with others as well. Take from it what you want and feel free to share it with others.

Instructions for Life from the Dalai Lama

1.Take into account that great love and great achievements involve great risk.
2.When you lose, don’t lose the lesson.
3.Follow the three R’s: - Respect for self, - Respect for others and - Responsibility for all your actions.
4.Remember that not getting what you want is sometimes a wonderful stroke of luck.
5.Learn the rules so you know how to break them properly.
6.Don’t let a little dispute injure a great relationship.
7.When you realize you’ve made a mistake, take immediate steps to correct it.
8.Spend some time alone every day.
9.Open your arms to change, but don’t let go of your values.
10.Remember that silence is sometimes the best answer.
11.Live a good, honorable life. Then when you get older and think back, you’ll be able to enjoy it a second time.
12.A loving atmosphere in your home is the foundation for your life.
13.In disagreements with loved ones, deal only with the current situation. Don’t bring up the past.
14.Share your knowledge. It is a way to achieve immortality.
15.Be gentle with the earth.
16.Once a year, go someplace you’ve never been before.
17.Remember that the best relationship is one in which your love for each other exceeds your need for each other.
18.Judge your success by what you had to give up in order to get it.
19.If you want others to be happy, practice compassion.
20.If you want to be happy, practice compassion.

I would like to challenge each of you to find at least one item above to reflect on for the day. Also, practice an act of kindness as often as you can and watch how your life changes. Feel free to come back here and comment on either my challenge or an experience you have had with a random act of kindness.


Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Meet my new friend - Herbert

Every once and awhile I come across something that really catches my eye or heart for that matter. I fell in love with Herbert the moment I saw him. He is just the cutest guy ever and he is so well traveled and has many friends.

Yes, Herbert is an owl, a drawing of an owl by a very talented and creative Etsy artist, Maggie Hurley. Maggie went to school at the Laguna College of Art and Design before moving to San Francisco and then on to Berkeley, which she now calls home. She accepts commissions for portraits, specializing in children and pets. She occasionally sculpts as well. She is multi-talented for sure.

When I saw the picture of Herbert and the Aliens I knew I had to talk with Maggie and Herbert and invite them to my blog. They agreed to share some information with us as well as some pictures.

Share a little about yourself and what inspires you: I've been drawing and painting as long as I can remember and seem to have difficulty focusing on just one genre. Herbert, my little owl, sprang to life one day of his own accord. I just surround him with what feels right. This same idea rings true for most of my work - I feel like more of a conduit than a creator. I think, in a lot of ways, each of my paintings is a direct line into what I'm thinking at that moment... often I can't really tell how I'm feeling until I read the expression on my character's face!

Other locations were Maggie's artwork can be seen - check them out:,, and
Above is one of my favorite pictures of Herbert with his Alien friends, below Herbert can be seen on a magic carpet ride and riding along with his Yak friend. Check out Maggie's other sites to see her wonderful work.
Thanks Maggie for sharing these great pictures with us and a bit about yourself.

Friday, May 15, 2009

FYI - another give-away opportunity

Announcing a crochet give away from another blogger the Create Crochet Blog.

If you are interested in participating, use the link below.

Have a wonderful weekend.

The Winner is........

The winner of my 1st blog give-away is Celeste! Congratulations. She will be recieving the letter C as requested.

It was a lot of fun hosting this give-away and I plan to do another one in the near future, so continue to stop by my blog for the big announcement.

Thanks to everyone who participated. For those who didn't win the ring, I have decided to offer you a special deal. You will recieve 20% off your purchase in my shop. During the checkout process, in the notes to seller type blog20 and I will reimburse you through paypal. The 20% savings added to my FREE shipping in May adds up to a very nice deal. You can use this code anytime until the end of August 2009.

Enjoy and have a great weekend!

Saturday, May 9, 2009

1st Blog Give-Away

In celebration of Mother's Day tomorrow, I thought it would be a great time to have my very first blog give-away!

I will give ONE of my newly listed scrabble tile rings. They are super cool and very adorable. Wear your favorite initial on your finger. Rings are made with upcycled scrabble tiles and silver tone adjustable rings.

Here are the rules and ways to earn points towards being the lucky winner:

1. Leave me a comment with the following info - your name, the initial you would like to have, and at least one reason that makes your Mom special. - 1 pt

2. Write about my give-away on your blog. Send me the link to your post - 1 pt

3. Sign-up to follow my blog, let me know you did - 1 pt

4. Visit my etsy shop and leave me a comment here about at least one item you like or dislike. Go ahead I can handle it. - 1 pt

5. Ask a friend to participate in this give-away. They must leave a message with your name. - 1pt for you 1 pt for them. :-D

You can choose to do one or all of the items above. For each point you earn, I will put your name in a hat to draw from.

I will draw the winning name on Friday, May 15, 2009. I will post the winner's name that day. Please check back to find out who the winner will be. Winner will be responsible for contacting me by Monday, May 18th to claim their prize. If not claimed I will pick another name.

I can't wait to see who will be my first give-away winner!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

First Crochet Sell - Yea Me

Can't tell you how great it feels to have someone appreciate your handy work enough to be willing to buy it.

I made a lovely cream colored hat for someone and brought it in to the office to show and tell. A fellow co-worker liked it so much, he ordered one just like it for his mom. Worked on it afterwork last night and brought it in for him today. Just call me "Speedy J".

Now, I can't wait to here his report on what she thought about it. That's the best part!

Here is a couple of pictures of the hat and another one similar in purple without the flower.

Update: 5/26/09 - both hats have sold. Yippy!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Hot off the hook

Being the crochet addict that I have become, I get so excited when I have extra time to work on some quick projects.

Recently, I have made a few hats and almost completed 2 scarfs. I listed the 1st scarf completed in my shop and I am close to finishing up another one in the same Queen Anne's Lace pattern, but in a gorgeous green yarn. Red Heart Soft - I highly recommend this yarn if you are looking for a yarn with a nice feel at a reasonable price. I like to use coupons from Michaels or Joann's to help cut the cost even further.

If you don't know how to crochet or knit, I highly suggest that you think about learning. It is so much fun. I don't wear hats, but I love making them. I am sure some will go to friends and family, maybe I will be lucky and sell a few, and others will be donated to a local charity. Regardless, I have really had a blast learning the craft.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Month of May Special

FREE Shipping and a FREE Gift

In celebration of Mother's Day, I am offering FREE shipping on all items over $7.

This is a great opportunity to save a few $$'s to buy a treat for yourself or someone else.

I will also be giving a free hand crocheted cotton facial scrubbie with your purchase. These face clothes are a great way to clean your face, remove make-up, while being ecofriendly. They are reusable and can be washed and dried.

100% Cotton, hand crocheted by me. This is just a sample of what you may recieve with your purchase. Colors and style may vary, but each one is made with love and they are super fun and useful. One item per purchase. Ask about how you can buy more for yourself and as gifts.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Weekend of Fun

Currently recovering from a super busy weekend. My friend Amanda Saha (Lucky You Bags) and I had a booth a local craft festival. She brought some of her beautiful bags and I brought my jewelry and crochet items.

After being away from the computer for a couple of days, I decided to check on my Etsy shop and found several surprises. Found I had made a sale online and I had been featured on the Etsy Frontpage.

Being a member of Etsy under a year, I am still very novice with how things run on the site, but have heard on the forums that getting a spot on the Frontpage is a great and treasured honor. Not to mention that I love the Owl theme of the selections. Owls rock!

I hope to have some new articles to post in the near future and even a give-away contest for one of my newest shop items - glass tile rings. Keep tabs on my blog for the big announcement.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Operation Catnip Spring Raffle

Attention Animal Lovers, Haters, and Supporters!

Operation Catnip is sponsoring a raffle to help fund their projects here in Alachua County.

Yours truly is donating a gift certificate and maybe a few more surprises. So take a look at their raffle page and consider participating in this raffle.

Spring Raffle page at

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Birthday Bash Sale

Help me celebrate my birthday!

Starting today you will recieve a percent discount based on how much you spend: $20 = 20% discount, $25 = 25% discount up to a total of 50% off your total purchase. I will refund your discount through paypal or I will send you an updated invoice before you pay.

Make a purchase and then leave a comment here on my blog about your purchase and you will recieve a FREE gift!

Monday, March 16, 2009

True Art in Crochet

I am in awe of my next spot light guest. I've shared that I am new to the hobby of crochet and I love it. You know how you don't really notice a particular car model until you own it and then all of a sudden you see that car everywhere? Well that is how it's been with me and crochet recently. I notice it everywhere and I am strongly drawn to the many creations and artist involved.

I saw my next guest on Etsy and had the immediate urge to check out her shop. She is a true crochet artist. I can only dream of being so talented. In the meantime, I will enjoy looking at her creations and admiring the talent, hardwork and time spent to create each of her pieces.

Li was kind enough to answer a few questions for me today, as I wanted to get to know her a little better and I thought you may be curious as well.

Your Name: Li Sui (really short, haha, only 5 letters, I still remember that when I graduated from school, my name was the easiest name to find in the booklet)

Location: Toronto Ontario Canada

How did you get started crocheting?: Hm... I learned this from school, actually from my mom first, and tried so many things, then I became a crochet flower person...

How long have you been crocheting?: More than 10 years..:) don't guess my age..

How many hours does it take you to complete a piece?: usually will be 3 days..but I feel I am like a machine, first crochet this part, second. third.....but I love this..

What is your favorite material to crochet with?: so far, yarn, I haven't try to crocheted something else, such as fabric..

What is your favorite color(s)?: I love black, white, orange, green, purple.

Do you use patterns to create your flowers or do you create them on your own?: Well, I don't use pattern, it just like a free-hand crochet. Well, you do need a pattern for some parts, but each of flowers is different.

Do you have any other hobbies?: Yes, Papercuting. I learned this from my grad-parents...when I was little, I did a lot of project for city, magazine...etc.
You can also view more of her creations here-

Thank you Li for sharing with us.

March Happiness Sale

Instead of the usual March Madness - I am celebrating with a March Happiness Sale!
Buy any item in my shop and get another item of same value or less for free. Yes, FREE!!!

Place both items in your cart, don't pay until I send you a revised invoice. You can convo me on Etsy if you have questions regarding this sale.

Sale will last until the end of March or while supplies last.

I have several items that would make great Easter gifts.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Photography Tips by Dawn McKinstry

I am so psyched about my second guest blog post. I love playing around with photography and am always looking for great, easy to follow tips. The following tips provided by Dawn are just that! Easy to follow and extremely helpful. Dawn is a wonderful photographer as you can see by the pictures that follow her post below. Check out her blog and feel free to contact her if you are in the need of her skills. Enough from me - let's check out what she has to say.

Hi all! When Jenai asked me to write a few guest posts for her blog about photography I was honored. Then, I had to sit back for a second and think about what you would find most interesting to read, and what would be most helpful. It struck me that not too long ago I was reading similar informative articles, and how liberating it was for me to learn these tidbits. Just a few simple tricks can greatly improve the images you get out of your camera, no matter what kind of camera you have.
So here you go!

Tip #1: Move closer. By moving closer to your subject you can eliminate many distractions from the background of your photo. This keeps the focus on your subject as well as provides a clearer view of what you're trying to capture. You can also change your perspective. Try getting low for pets, at eye level of your subject is a general rule of thumb. But don't be afraid to try other levels, experiment! Have fun!

Tip #2: Turn off your flash
If you're using a point-and-shoot camera, it will often automatically turn the flash on whenever you're indoors. While it is sometimes necessary to use your on-camera flash, you can often take pictures just fine without it. When you turn off the flash, your point-and-shoot will compensate by using a longer shutter speed. This means that you will have to hold the camera still (often propping it up on a table works just fine), but you will let more ambient light into the camera giving the photo a more natural result (closer to what your eye sees). It can also highlight other areas of the frame. In the photo below, if I had used the flash, you would have seen the wedding party in the foreground, and the bride and groom would not be as pronounced. With the flash off, the people in the foreground serve to frame the bride who glows from the natural outdoor light.

Tip #3: Don't center your subject in your viewfinderIn photography, the rule of thirds applies-sectioning your viewfinder into thirds, three sections horizontally and three sections vertically. Ideally, the focus of your subject (for example, your subject's eyes when shooting portraits) should be where these lines intersect. However, you can also create more interest in your
photographs by simply off-setting your subject, or not putting them in the ce
nter of the photograph.
I hope these tips help. But most importantly, get out and experiment with your camera! It is the best way to learn!

Friday, February 27, 2009

Free Beaded Bookmark Tutorial - by April of Rougeriverbeads.etsy

Welcome to my first guest tutorial. April is a fellow member of Etsy and she has been kind enough to share this great tutorial on making a beaded bookmark. If you aren't crafty, but would like to own a beaded bookmark, please check her shop out and let her know I sent you.

Making your own bookmarks are a great way to use up leftover beads and they are a great gift for any age!


7” of beading wire
Two crimp beads
A charm
6-10 beads depending on size
1-jump ring

Flatnose pliers or a crimp tool
To begin, thread the beading wire through the crimp bead and the charm

Bring the beading wire back through the crimp bead and crimp with crimping tool, or flatten with pliers.

Add your beads in whatever order you like.

Add another crimp bead.

Thread wire over jump ring then thread the tail of your wire through your crimp bead and a couple of beads.

Crimp or flatten your crimp bead.

Trim excess wire.

Open your jump ring and add the bookmark

Most bookmarks have a hole through which you can thread something.

I find it easiest to attach everything to a jump ring, its easier to turn around if you happen to have your charm backwards!

And volia! You now have your own bookmark to enjoy or give as a gift!

Friday, February 20, 2009

Let's Crochet or Knit for a Cause

In the most recently released Lion Brand Yarn Newsletter an article featured a wonderful project, Knit-a-Square to benefit orphaned children in Africa. The project is simple, knit or crochet a square, 8 x 8 inches and send to the group. There are a few more steps and requests listed in the article. They prefer the squares to be made with a wool yarn and to leave a tail of yarn 3-4 yards long to be used in fastening the squares. If you are interested in participating, I highly encourage you to read the article, get your hooks/needles and yarn out and make a colorful, child friendly square or more and send it off.

These children have been orphaned by HIV/AIDS and many live on the streets and suffer through freezing night temperatures. Unfortunately, there are towns filled with orphaned children who have to fend for themselves on a daily basis, looking to meet their basic needs, food, shelter, and clothing.

Many may ask, why Africa, why not the US? Well, in my opinion, even our worst off homeless person has more than these orphaned children in Africa. Americans are blessed with many resources, homeless shelters, programs that feed the poor and homeless, and many other resources that help adults and especially the children. Of course I'm not saying don't help those in your local communities, I'm just encouraging everyone to reach out and help others in far worse conditions as well. I feel I can ask this as I make an attempt to do both myself. I have had the opportunity to help those in my community and want to extend that help even farther.

Giving these children just a glimpse of hope and showing them that others do care about them, can make a huge diference in their lives.

I would love to hear from those of you who plan to participate and I challenge everyone to spread the word about the project and encourage those around you that crochet and/or knit to make at least one square.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Combination of Two Loves

This week I have been experimenting with the idea of combining my love of creating fun jewelry and my new love of crocheting.

I found several fun patterns for crochet jewelry and have made a few pairs of earrings and made an attempt at a ring. The pattern for the rings can be found in the free pattern section of Crochet Today magazine.

When it comes to crafts I am not very patient. Projects that are fairly quick and can be done in several hours or a few minutes excite me the most.

I've been working on an orange and blue, granny square, (he's a 6 year old, Gator fan) blanket for my nephew the past few weeks and I am struggling with the fact that I am beginning to get bored with it, yet I want to finish it. It didn't help that I ran out of both yarn colors and had a hard time finding them again in the local Walmarts. Happily, I did find them this week and now I must motivate myself to start on the blanket again and get it completed so that I can give it to him.

With spring quickly approaching I am on the hunt for fun, spring crochet ideas. Feel free to post a link or pass along to me any ideas you have that would be fun to do.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Happy Valentine's Day

May your Valentine's Day be filled with lots of love!

Now let's be honest, I am not the kind of person who believes in spending tons of money for every holiday that rolls around, but I do enjoy giving from the heart.

This year, with my newly learned crochet skills I made a few heart shaped pins to give to friends and family. Just a little something to spread the love and it gave me something do with the hearts that I made for the fun of it.


Love cures people - both the ones who give it and the ones who receive it.

Karl Menninger

Thursday, February 12, 2009

My pendant featured on this blog

One of my pendants was featured on this great blog. Check her out. She posts lots of lovely items from fellow Etsy members.

Welcome to my blog

A quick warning to anyone brave enough to read my blog, I am not a creative writer by any account.

My hopes for this blog will be to introduce you to other crafters, bloggers, and professionals that can provide us with information that may be useful, fun, and/or helpful in many areas. I am sure that many of my blogs will revolve around things I find entertaining or feel would be helpful in some way.

I would be more than happy to receive suggestions of topics or proposals to be a guest writer on my blog.

Stay posted!