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/.