29 December, 2009


Congratulations to JDWolfe...this month's winner of a free piece of jewelry from ChipmunkHollow.

27 December, 2009

Favorite Color Combinations

Each month the Etsy Bloggers participate in an Etsy Carnival Blog.  One of the questions posed this month is ...What are your favorite color combinations?  What do you create using those colors?

About 10-12 years ago I drove to Washington Island which is in Door County on the eastern side of Wisconsin to take a tapestry class at Sievers School of Fiber Arts.... a wonderful school for learning weaving,  quilting, furniture making and many other skills and crafts....http://www.sieversschool.com/

As we started to warp our looms for our tapestry project, the instructor began to lay out all different colors and textures of yarns in skeins, balls, etc. in no particular order on a large table.

Once our looms were warped and ready to go he told us to go up to the table and pick our very least favorite color.  That was an easy one for me as the color chartreuse had always been my least favorite color.  Chartreuse is 50% green and 50% yellow.  It is halfway between yellow and green.  It is one of the teriary colors of the HSV color wheel. 

Our instructor then informed us that we were to use this color in our tapestry project along with whatever other colors we wished to use. It was a wonderful lesson for me.  The chartreuse color was brighter and bolder then any other colors that I chose and it was the one color that brought my tapestry to life.

To this day it is a color which I wear and have incorporated many times into my weavings and also into my jewelry designs.

As for other favorite color combinations, I often use a color wheel.  It is a wonderful tool for discovering colors which complement each other and blend well together. 

Featured Etsy Artist - Calkat the Jewelry Junkie

                 This month's EtsyBloggers Featured Artist is Calkat the Jewelry Junkie.

This shop carries beautiful one of a kind pieces of  jewelry.

This necklace is made with citrine and freshwater pearls.

This is a bisque bead that has been layered over many days in pure (99.95) silver Precious Metal Clay (PMC) and then embellished with 24K gold (PMC) stripe, fired and polished to a shine.  What a great focal point bead this would be!

This zodiac pendant has been crafted from the purist silver (99.9%) and signed on the back.
Please be sure and visit http://www.calkat.etsy.com/

to see her blog.

21 November, 2009

Penelope Porcupine

Last week I walked outside one morning and there was a porcupine walking around in our front yard. Since they are typically noctural I was a bit surprised!

Today she was back...up in a tree.
 I never knew that porcupines even climbed trees but it turns out that they are excellent climbers!

 The porcupine has about 30,000 quills.  Their main diet consists of leaves, twigs, skunk cabbage, lupines and clover in the spring, and in the winter it chews through the rough outer bark of certain trees, including pine, which is where we found her today.

An interesting fact is that porcupines give birth to just one baby.  When the baby is born its quills are soft but they harden within half an hour of being born.


This months Featured Etsy Blogger Artist has not one but two etsy shops.  One is devoted to all things vintage http://thefabmissb.etsy.com/ and the other showcases Becky Kazana's artistic talents http://beckykazana.etsy.com/ .

All of Becky's greeting cards are reproductions of her original watercolor and ink artwork.

They are just wonderful!  In addition to Becky's cards she makes the most creative and original pipe cleaner figures.  Here are a few of my favorites:

How sweet is this little dachshund?

Becky hand paints the faces, creates the clothing, etc.
Be sure to check out her adorable cards and chenille dolls in addition to her other store at http://thefabmissb.etsy.com/.  She has added some vintage aprons which remind me of when I was a little girl.  You'll love them!

16 November, 2009


Congratulations to Pam...this months winner!  Pam will recieve a free piece of jewelry from Chipmunk Hollow.  Next drawing....December 15th.

05 November, 2009

My Dream Show

 Every month members of the Etsy Bloggers team participate in  Carnival Blogs.  One of the questions this month is ...What was your most successful sales event or product, and why do you think it was?

Many years ago I was invited to participate in the Junior League of Washington's (D.C. that is) Holiday show.  It was a wonderful show held at the Mayflower Hotel in downtown D.C.

I had chosen for my theme...tartan plaid, so everything in my booth was either red, green, or tartan plaid.  The booth was very color  coordinated and looked really classy.

Some of the items in my booth were handmade and others were items I had purchased at various wholesale gift shows for resale. The most popular item I sold were these beautiful grapevine geese which were about 18" tall and 24" long.  I still have mine and it remains a centerpiece in my dining room.  I put little tartan plaid bows around their necks and they sold like crazy. 

For two days people lined up at my booth with their purchases just waiting to pay. It was without a doubt my dream show.  I think the show was so successful because of the products I had chosen to sell and the way my booth was decorated.  I believe both product and display are crucial to a successful sales event.

04 November, 2009

FEATURED SHOP - dedeetsy.shop

I first met Deanna when I was putting together a Treasury called 'Acorn Artistry' on Etsy and I featured one of her items.  I found the sweetest little acorn pillow in her shop.  

Deanna's pillows  are just beautiful.  Elegant, whimsical, natural, colorful...there is alot to choose from. She also sews rice filled bean bag bookends which would make a great complement to any bookshelf.   I am so pleased that she agreed to be featured on my Blog.  The following is an online interview with dedeetsy.shop:

When did you first begin to sew? What made you choose to specialize in pillows and home decor?  I started sewing at a young age. My grandma used to babysit me a lot and she was an avid sewer, so I would sit there all day and go through all her fabric scraps and buttons and just sew, sew, sew. I created all kinds of little things.

Where do the ideas for your pillows and bookend designs originate? From what (or where) do you draw your inspiration?  I draw alot of my inspiration from nature. I like natural, rustic items and also shabby chic. I also love flowers, birds, and animals.

Among the items in your shop, do you have a personal favorite? I really like the french rose pillow, but I also enjoy making the bird pillows because they all turn out a bit different and unique. They are fun to make! My favorite items would probably be though, custom items! I love taking someone else's idea and turning it into a soft piece of useable art!

Why did you decide to open a shop on Etsy?  I opened my shop because I thought it would be fun! I had alot of ideas of things I wanted to make and pillows was one of them. They quickly became my number one seller, so my shop quickly became a pillow shop!

Is there a certain fabric that you prefer to work with? If so, why? I love working with linen. I love the texture of linen and how it sews. I also do love felt. Felt is so practical and comes in so many color choices. Felt can really make a pillow pop!

How do you determine color schemes, i.e. is it based upon current color trends, best selling items, the color wheel, etc? I love soft colors, muted shades, but at the same time I sell alot of fun, whimsical pillows with bright colors. I like the bright pillows for childrens rooms that also appeal to the parents. I do try to go with current color trends too though. Yellow and grey are hot right now and I have recently sold alot of my grey and mustard yellow french rose pillow!

Could you tell us about where you work and how you organize your workspace? Ha! Right now I am working out of our spare bedroom and cut most of my pillows out in our dining room! I would LOVE to have a whole area dedicated soley to my shop. In the future!

And finally, I see that you have several other Etsy shops. Could you tell us a little bit about them?  I do have a vintage shop- dotvintage. It is sadly neglected lately because I have been so busy with this shop. I am always on the outlook for new, old items to add there. I just haven't had the time lately to hunt for them! My little guy, Connor also has a shop which he calls connorsfunshop. He gets such a thrill when he sells something or when someone hearts his shop!

dedeetsy.shop has been very successful on Etsy.  I hope that you will take the time to visit all three of her shops and be sure to heart Connor's shop.  Order early for the holidays....items are currently shipping in 7 to 10 days.

25 October, 2009

An American Marten

I have a feeling that many people have no idea what an American Marten is.  I know that before I moved to  Wisconsin I had never heard of them.

Yesterday morning, we awoke to a beautiful site.  It had snowed the night before.  There was a thin glaze of ice on our pond and the trees were laden with a heavy wet snow. 

I was standing in the kitchen when I saw something run across the garden.  Of course the garden is finished  for the year, but it is right outside our kitchen window.  My first thought was that  it looked a bit like a river otter.  We used to see them playing down by our pond, but never up near our house.  Within seconds it was gone...it ran into the woods.

Well..a few minutes later my husband said.."there he is again".  He was romping in the snow, must have been  looking for mice, or voles, maybe even our chipmunks...OH NO....NOT THE CHIPMUNKS!  Anyway....he came close to the front door and we got a pretty good look at him.  What a beautiful animal.  American Martens are part of the weasel family, the Family Mustelidae.   I'd say he was about 24" long, brown, with a long bushy tail and a pretty face....pretty for a weasel that is!

According to the National Audubon Society's Field Guide to North American Mammals they spend most of their time foraging for rodents....PLEASE PLEASE ...NOT THE CHIPMUNKS!  We have alot of red squirrels here and it evidently likes to dine on them too!  I thought it was very interesting that it traverses a range of 5 to 15 square miles.  That seemed like quite alot of land to cover!

In all the years we have lived here, we've never seen one.  He was very beautiful and I'm just happy to have caught a glimpse of an American Marten in the wild.

22 October, 2009


October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month! It has been wonderful to see so many Etsy sites contributing to such a worthy cause.

In my Etsy shop at http://chipmunkhollow.etsy.com/  , if you purchase a breast cancer awareness pendant, I will contribute 20% of the proceeds to the Susan G. Komen for the Cure and send you a free pair of pink earrings!

Since its inception in 1982  Susan G. Komen for the Cure,  has raised over $1.3 billion for education, research and health services. It is the largest breast cancer charity in the world.

   I hope you will support such a worthy cause!

21 October, 2009

Etsy Featured Blogger - Made By Melissa

Each month, the Etsy Bloggers pick one specific shop to feature.  This month's featured shop is MADE BY MELISSA.

Melissa enjoys making  jewelry and crocheting.  She likes to work with beads, crystals, glass and cotton, acrylic and wool yarns.

She is having a great sale right now for Halloween.  If you buy any Halloween item you'll get a second Halloween item for 50%.

If you happen to live in the Jersey area here is Melissa's upcoming show schedule:

11/14 - Holiday Craft Fair & Market, Bogota High School, Bogota, NJ, 10 AM - 6 PM

11/21 - Englewood Holiday Craft Boutique, First Presbyterian Church of Englewood, Englewood, NJ, 10 AM - 4 PM

I hope you will visit her shop at
and be sure to check out her blog at

15 October, 2009


Congratulations to Andi Klee, winner of the first Chipmunk Hollow Jewelry Giveaway Contest.  If you are Andi, please leave an email in the comments section below (it will not be published) so that I can get an address as to where to send your gift!

Sign up to follow my blog and you could be next month's winner.  Next drawing - November 15th!

11 October, 2009

FEATURED SHOP - usnavyretiredvet

When I was a child I loved to do puzzles.  When my own daughter was born I enjoyed watching her learn to put the puzzle pieces in their proper places.  I have often times bought wooden puzzles as gifts for they seem to create an unending source of entertainment!

My Featured Shop this week is usnavyretiredvet. Check out his shop at http://usnavyretiredvet.etsy.com/

Chuck makes the most beautiful wooden puzzles for children.   At a time when product recalls for children's products has escalated dramatically, it seemed  appropriate to feature handmade wooden puzzles.  With the holidays approaching so quickly, they would make a wonderful gift.  His puzzles are all made of 3/4" hardwood and he uses only non toxic Food Grade Mineral Oil to finish them.  Chuck's puzzles contain no lead or phthalates.

Here is an interview done with usnavyretiredvet!

How long have you been working with wood?   How did you get started? I took woodshop class in middle school and high school and loved it. I received A's on everything I made. That was 51 years ago. I had no opportunity to do any woodworking after that until 4-5 years ago, when I slowly built up a wood shop in my basement and started making puzzles for children. I began selling them on Etsy in March 2007.

Where do the designs for your puzzles come from? The designs I use come from various places: free pattern sites, pay pattern sites that allow selling the finished product, and mostly from free clipart sites. When I find a suitable image, I edit it in Adobe Photo Deluxe.

Could you walk us through the process of creating a wooden puzzle from start to finish?  In the photo editor, I erase everything except the outline and major features, then draw in the interlocking puzzle pieces. I print out the finished pattern onto self-adhesive paper for attachment to the wood. After cutting a piece of wood to the appropriate size, I sand both sides, then wrap the wood with blue painter's tape. I also wrap it in clear packing tape. Both tapes help keep the scroll saw blade from burning the wood. I then attach the self-adhesive paper pattern to the taped wood, drill any interior access holes for the blade entry, drill out the eyes or other larger circles with drill bits and/or Forstner bits. I then proceed to cut the puzzle on my scroll saw. When the puzzle is cut, I remove the tape, and sand all edges with a flap sander to keep little fingers from getting cut on the edges. I then tie monofilament fishing line to each piece, dip each piece in a shallow pan of food-grade Mineral oil, lay them on a couple layers of paper towels and newspaper, wipe off any excess oil, then hang the pieces to dry in front of a fan for 2-3 days. And they're done, ready for shipping.

You have been extremely successful on Etsy.  To what, in particular, do you attribute that success?  I think my success comes from offering a quality product that I would give my own grandchildren and great-grandchildren. I also try to respond immediately to all queries, and purchase orders, keeping my customers advised at each step - receipt of orders, receipt of payment, shipping date, tracking numbers, etc. Good, friendly customer service is appreciated by all my buyers. I also offer a "no questions asked" return policy, and a lifetime guarantee on all my puzzles.

Here's a true example of my level of customer service. I had a customer who questioned the shipping fee after receipt of her puzzles. I explained the need for estimating the shipping cost of sending multiple puzzles, since I didn't know the total weight of her order when I listed the individual puzzles. Also, there is a small handling charge I add for each shipment. Without waiting for a reply, I refunded her total purchase price with shipping and handling via PayPal, and did not ask for the puzzles to be returned. I never heard from her regarding any "thank you", and just put it down to the cost of doing business, and keeping my feedback record clean. I leave positive feedback for every buyer as soon as payment is verified, since they have completed their contract requirements at that time. As J. C. Penny's motto stated..."The customer is always right". I always give people the benefit of any doubt, and trust them until they prove I shouldn't.

I hope that you will visit Chuck's shop at http://usnavyretiredvet.etsy.com/ and keep his puzzles in mind for the upcoming holidays.  Don't forget to BUY HANDMADE!


Please check out My New Treasury on Etsy at

It is called 'Quoth the Raven Nevermore'.
Since treasuries are temporary, the link will expire on Monday evening, October 12th!

10 October, 2009

OCTOBER 10, 2009

This is the view that we woke up to this morning.  Seems a bit early, don't you think? Boots, hats, gloves, winter coats...I thought there was plenty of time before I'd have to get them out.  Guess I was wrong.....A G A I N! (LOL)

02 October, 2009

FEATURED SHOP: Greeneyedbutterfly Illustrations

The Featured Shop this week is Greeneyedbutterfly Illustrations.  This shop has a wonderful mix of art prints, ACEO's, original paintings, bookplates, totes for children, bibs and more.  Their entire shop can be seen at http://greeneyedbutterfly.etsy.com/ .

First of all...I love the name of your shop.  How did you come up with that name...Green-Eyed Butterfly?

I wanted a name for my business that was different and catchy. Since most of my work is whimsical, I thought that Green-Eyed Butterfly fit.

I see that you have an array of offerings from original artwork to children's bibs. How did this mixture of different mediums come about?

I noticed that there were a lot of people having success selling art prints on Etsy so I decided to give it a try.  I enjoy drawing whimsical art and coloring it on the computer so this was perfect for me.  I had my original art on hand and decided to include them.  As time went on, I was looking for different ways of using my art work to appeal to a larger audience so I started applying my art to children's clothing.  I'm constantly looking for different ways of using my artwork.  Several years ago I was quite successful selling ACEO's on Ebay but I would rather list on a shop because it's less time consuming and probably less expensive.

One of the items in your shop are ACEO's.  Could you explain what an ACEO is?

ACEO's are art card editions (limited prints) and originals.  I only sell originals. They are art trading cards that people collect and are always 2-1/2" x 3-1/2".

Could you tell us about your original artwork?  I see that you have both prints and paintings?  Do you have formal training or are you self taught?

I have been drawing since I was very young.  I did have formal training in drawing, painting, watercolor and digital art.  It is only recently that printers used archival inks that were good enough to sell prints/reproductions.  Before now the only choice I had was to paint and sell originals.  The new technology has made art available to those who might not be able to afford original art.  I want to get back to doing originals but promoting my shops takes a lot of my time.

From where do you draw the inspiration for your original art?

I was always inspired by nature, particularly flowers for my originals.  When I became a grandmother two years ago, I was inspired to do the whimsical prints mostly  for children's rooms.

Pat's shop is a wonderful mix of mediums, color and whimsy. Please be sure to check out her shop at http://greeneyedbutterfly.etsy.com/.

19 September, 2009

FEATURED SHOP - thatSandygirl.etsy.com

Starting today...a  new addition to my blog will be FEATURED SHOP ...shops from Etsy and other handmade markets where I will interview a diverse group of individuals creating handmade items..  I hope you will enjoy reading their stories and will support these wonderful artists and craftspeople by buying items that are made by hand.

Sandy of thatSandygirl.etsy.com is relatively new to Etsy.  She told me that she has only been making jewelry for six months (which is hard to believe given the quality and difficulty of her pieces).  She says she is enjoying every second of it! 

Here is an interview with Sandy along with some of her beautiful jewelry.


"Through some strange quirk in the universe, I actually had several hours one day with all three of my children otherwise occupied.  I'd noticed the local bead store on Main St. and I just decided on impulse to stop in and maybe give some support to a small downtown business.  I've always enjoyed interesting and unique jewelry, but it never occurred to me to make my own until I walked into that store and saw all of the glorious variety of semiprecious stones - I was hooked instantly.  I bought some carnelian and amethyst beads, the components to make two pairs of earrings, a pair of round-nose pliers and a magazine, and I haven't looked back!"


"My art background stopped at ninth grade art class.  I really thought that because I couldn't draw (and still can't) I wasn't creative.  I've always been a do-it-yourself type - gardening, canning, sewing some pillow covers - but I never considered myself artistic until I found jewelry.  I've taught myself, working with a few wonderful books and plenty of experimentation."

"I love to work with wire - I love the beautiful warm gleam of the copper, and the clean simplicity of silver, and how it all bends so wonderfully into the shape I want.  And I love my new torch - I'm just getting started with it, and I'm looking forward to experimenting."

"I draw a lot of my inspiration from the town I live in.  Mt Vernon is a very small historic city, with a lot of interesting old houses surrounded by gigantic trees, formal and informal gardens, and brick streets.  There's a river with a wonderful paved biking trail that runs more than twenty miles beside it through the countryside and to the next three towns.  I love it, and I think a lot of my work takes it's tone from the atmosphere here.  That being said, sometimes it's simply the materials themselves that inspire a piece.  I might find an interesting focal, or some cool beads, and then poke through my stash to see if I have anything that sets it off.  And sometimes my husband will suggest a combination of things that might not have occurred to me."

"I think it's terrific, a wonderful venue!  I adore that it's international, and I can see that people from all over the world have looked at my jewelry.  I shipped an item to Israel a few weeks ago, and my kids and I plan to learn about the cities and countries where people buy my jewelry.  I also love what I've been able to do with my shop - it looks so professional!  There are a LOT of jewelers on etsy, and it's been a bit of a challenge so far to get my pieces noticed among more then a million items in the jewelry category.  I'm working hard at it, though!  The forums are an amazing resource - people are so generous with their knowledge!  Marketing and self-promotion are really foreign concepts for me, and I've gotten so much help from the forums in that regard."

Visit Sandy at thatSandygirl.etsy.com to view more of her beautiful pieces!

16 September, 2009

The Cats of Mirikitani

Last night my husband and I watched an excellent documentary.  It is called The Cats of Mirikitani, by filmmaker, Linda Hattendorf.  It is a beautiful true story of how one person (the filmmaker) dramatically changed the life of another by  reaching out in extraordinary ways to help a person in need. 

Jimmy Mirikitani is an 88 year old homeless Japanese-American living on the streets of New York City.  His passion to make art is the only thing he has going for him.  When he was a young man,  he was placed in an internment camp for 3-1/2 years during WWII.  His memories of being interred and of experiencing Hiroshima have left him an angry, bitter man whose art is is his only escape.  Then he meets Linda and her compassion  to help this man has a profound impact on his life in so many positive ways.

The Cats of Mirikitani is sad, powerful, poignant and a must see!

12 September, 2009

Bee Bliss

Picture from our Garden - September 11, 2009
The bees have been enjoying our sedum which have just turned a beautiful pink color!

09 September, 2009

Treasury Makes Etsy's Front Page

What a pleasant surprise to discover today that the Treasury I had created yesterday was picked up by Etsy and ended up on Etsy's Front Page. When I looked mid morning there were about 20 views. When I looked two hours later that number had skyrocketed and I knew from the comments that had been left that we'd been featured. Fun Stuff! The Treasury will be deleted on Friday morning, as they only run for a couple of days. Think I'll start working on another one...

08 September, 2009

My First Treasury on Etsy

YEA! I finally figured it out. Today on Etsy, I posted my first Treasury. A Treasury is a collection of items from the 1000's of Etsy shops that an etsian puts together so that others can have the opportunity to see all of the really beautiful things that Etsy has to offer.

I have been trying for a long time to figure out how to do this (I still have so much to learn about the computer), but I was pleased today to create this Treasury. The thing about the Treasury is that there are so many people trying to post their own collections that it is difficult to catch an open spot. Patience...I kept telling myself...and VOILA'!

Click Here to check out the Treasury. It was inspired by the football season being upon us and the team color combination of blue and orange. It is titled FOOTBALL FANTASIA.

23 August, 2009

Bears..Bears...Everywhere Bears

WOW! I have never had a summer with so many bear sightings as this one.

I was walking again this morning...have taken to wearing a whistle when I walk. Don't know why...guess it just makes me feel a little safer. I like to do a 2-1/2 mile power walk that takes me by a few houses and a golf course, but there is a stretch of road, the road I live on where there are no houses, just woods.

About a month ago I came really close to a large black bear that walked out of the woods onto the road about 100 yards in front of me. I was truly taken aback by it. I don't think the bear ever saw me as I stood perfectly still for a very long time. It finally crossed the street and wandered back into the woods. I waited about five more minutes before continuing my walk. I could see the bear in the woods so as I walked (very quickly, I might add) I just kept looking back over my shoulder. Thus....the decision to carry a whistle.

Well today as I was walking...I saw a bear cross the road onto our property. I was further away from this one, but when I got to the point where I had seen him cross I blew the whistle, just in case he was still there...I wanted to let him know I was coming. LOL! Of course my husband (who was outside at the time) told me when I got home that he never heard me blow it. Hmmm...maybe I should rethink this whole whistle thing!

22 August, 2009


The other day my husband and I were driving to St. Paul, MN to have our car worked on at the dealership where we had bought the car. We left very early in the morning since it is about a 2-1/2 hour drive, and we wanted to get there before it got too busy.

As it was just starting to get light out, a car passed us going the opposite way and blinked its lights. We assumed there was a policeman waiting up ahead. But to our surprise it was a doe and her fawn standing on the side of the road and the fawn was nursing. We have soooo many deer here, and are blessed to see them most days in the wild, but I don't recall ever seeing a fawn nursing.

It just made me smile and feel good inside. It was a ...PRECIOUS MOMENT!