Sunday, November 15, 2009


Are you one of those ambitious types that gets your holiday shopping done way in advance of the Christmas season? Good for you!!! Unfortunately, I fall into the category of last minute shopper - but hopefully not this year!!!

This year I have found Etsy and all the wonderful crafters that make up the Etsy group. The possibilities are endless and the selection is amazing. I am sure you can find something even for that "hard to buy" for person on your list! There are things in every price range, even for these tough economic times and specials constantly. There are many gift guides to search through on the Etsy website but I thought I would feature a few of those amazing crafters on my blog.

I have put together this list of some of my favorite Etsy websites as well as other fantastic crafters that I have met in the Etsy forums. I designed this on-line craft fair like a craft fair that I put together in my own home several years ago that was alot of fun. Each of the sites is different from the other and they each offer beautiful items in all different price ranges.

Where this is on-line - you have to use your imagination for a wonderful craft fair experience!!

Imagine the scents of Balsam and hot mulled cider as you stroll leisurely around a room beautifully decorated with memorable Christmas decorations. Soft Celtic music relaxes you, putting you into the holiday spirit as you move slowly from table to table, totally enjoying the sights of the beautifully handcrafted items. Now that you are in a relaxed shopping mood....

All of the shops below have their visual displays listed down the left hand side of the blog. You can click into each website from there or click their name below and you will be brought into their website. Please check each of them out, including my site, Allstrungout1. Leave comments if you would like about any of the wonderful items you purchase, about your thoughts on the selections offered, or any ideas for future shopping guides!!

I am sure you will find items that will satisfy many of the people on your shopping list or simply treat yourself! No crowds to fight or parking places to hunt for - all in the comfort of your own home!! Then, having that behind you, you can kick back, relax, and actually enjoy the festivities of this wonderful holiday season!

1. Andrewsreclaimed - a growing variety of quality garden supplies and gifts, all made from recycled wood, and assembled with care.

2. Hotpinkchick - unique handmade jewelry.

3. Yellowhouseknits - beautiful hand knits for babies and children.

4. Jennyhoople - colorful and glamorous handmade jewelry.

Aptrick - fine art photography by Patrick Andrew Adams.

6. Antiquebasketlady - handmade handbags, totes, diaper bags, children's bags.

7. Teaman - handblended gourmet teas for your enjoyment.

8. Whimsy & spice - specializing in sweets with a dash of spice.

9. Peacebypeacedesigns - custom bridal jewelry.

10. MixedMediaCocktail - handmade ribbon painted boxes and wearable art.

11. Stoopher & Boots - two sisters, creative ideas, onesie's, tees, & hoodies with cute pictures or sayings.

12. Deondesigns - jewelry with a vintage charm.

13. Boutiquestitches - bibs, blankets, changing pads, everything for that "unique" little rocker person.

14. LostRiverRags - luxurious Soaps, Lotions, Body Splashes, Soy Candles & More!

15. sarahkdesigns - bring the outside in...beautify the great indoors with the artwork of Sarah Knight.

16. The Shabby Pink Cottage - digital collage sheets perfect for scrapbooking or jewelry making.

17. NowthenDesign - beautifully quilted placemats, table runners, tissue box covers, & more!

18. Knitschmidt - adorable knitted baby and toddler hats and Chef's market bags!











































Week 4 classes!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Ladie's Night Out - Week 6 - The Final Chapter

We had our last classes for the semester. This last week I lovingly refer to as Ladies Choice!! The ladies love it because they get to finish up projects from the semester that they might not have finished in class or missed the class, bring something from home to work on, or make a selection from the extensive collection of handmade jewelry from my website! I always dread this week because I run around the room like a chicken with my head cut off answering questions and helping with various techniques!

This week was no different. I thought I would do my civic part and go vote before my Tuesday night class. Little did I know how long that process would take until I was still standing in line to vote with 15 minutes left to get to class. This must have been one of the biggest turnouts this year and the lines were huge. You actually had to get in a line to get a number and have your name checked off to qualify to get into the actual line to vote... I've never seen it quite so confusing.

So, of course, I arrived late to class and everyone was waiting for me. I brought everything but the kitchen sink because there were several projects that would be going on at the same time and I wanted to be prepared for anything. It took two trips to the car to get everything in. I started handing out kits and instructions to those who had ordered them and then immediately started jumping from person to person to see what they needed for instruction or assistance. I should actually bring roller skates because in the Tuesday night class, they are scattered around the room, but I was a wall hugger in my roller skating days, so it wouldn't do me much good...

The common project was that they received their fired silver clay pieces and began to brush off the clay residue with a wire brush and then started the oxidizing process using liver of sulphur. That was followed by more brushing and polishing with a special cloth. It was a stinky process but the results were great! The ladies seemed happy with the finished silver pendants and were each stating what they would have done different the next time.

The next 6 week semester doesn't start until February, but I actually got approved to hold 3 more classes before Christmas to make Christmas themed items. We won't have such a large group this time but we will have a good time as usual and I'll post pictures of our lovely Christmas items. Now to get the demo's made......

Stay tuned!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Ladie's Night Out - Week 5 - Wire Wrapped Pendants

Another fun evening with the ladies!! We actually had a man join our Wednesday night class. He had contacted me a few weeks ago inquiring about wire wrapping and taking a class. I mentioned to him that we were going to be doing wire wrapping this past week and if he was brave enough to attend the class with nine women, then he was welcome to join us. This is something that he said that he has always wanted to learn and would like to do it as a side business. He seemed to enjoy himself and caught on quite well.

The sea glass for the first pendant was supplied by Laura, who has been a regular for a little while. She collects it every summer on a private beach in Pemaquid. She had some beautiful pieces and the ladies selected their base pieces and then glued smaller sea glass in various colors along with shells to the base piece. The seaglass pendant pictured actually was a gift for my mother in law. She collects seaglass at Hampton Beach each summer and I had selected these pieces from her collection to make her the pendant awhile ago.

While the seaglass pendants were drying, they started wire wrapping cute little rocks that I had purchased from another supplier on Etsy. The rocks were from Idaho and were very unique. They were smooth, long, skinny rocks with various markings throughout them, in varying colors. They were perfect for wire wrapping and very lightweight. We tried two different techniques of wrapping and the pendants came out lovely.

Once the ladies were done with the rocks, they switched back to their seaglass and wrapped that pendant. The glue wasn't quite dry, but they worked around it and re-glued anything that had come apart when they were finished wrapping. They seemed quite pleased with their pieces and it was another successful week of classes.

This coming week is the last week of classes in this semester. I can't believe how fast it has gone by. This week is Ladies Choice. They always seem to like this week but it is usually a little crazier for me. They can bring something from home to work on, finish up something that they might not have finished during one of the previous classes, or choose to make something from my website items. It won't be boring, that's for sure, with everyone working on a different project!!

The silver clay pendants were being fired this weekend. I am anxious to see how they came out. Laura's mother in law makes porcelain dolls and has a couple of kiln's. She offered to fire them for us, which was so nice of her. We will just have to polish them up and then dip them in liver of sulphur to basically antique any grooves that we have in our designs. Rudy thinks the glue smells bad - won't she be surprised.... After the dipping and washing afterward, we will attach jump rings and they will be ready to place on a neckchain to wear!! I'll post some pictures in my next article to show how they came out.

We also found out last week that we got approval to hold three more classes before Christmas. We are going to make projects for the Christmas season. I need to get busy once more making the demo's!

It sure keeps me out of trouble.....