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Friday, December 30, 2011

Special Weekly Treasury Overview - December 30th

I've been amazed at the multitude of treasuries cropping up today.  I have been featured in several treasuries today alone so I decided to do a Special Weekly Treasury Overview.  I am very grateful to those that have featured my items in these wonderful treasuries. 

I was feeling a little blue because Christmas is over and New Years Eve is tomorrow.  I love the holidays and this year they seemed to have come and gone so fast.  I have also had a few personal set backs this last week so my plans for celebrating the New Year has changed.  But thanks to my friends at ETSY I am feeling a lot better and excited about spending New Years in my virtual world and with my good friends that may also have had to change their plans.  It is all good when you are surrounded by friends.  Thanks again to all.  

 

 

 

 

 

&nsbp;

&nsbp;

Create Book Shelves

I am always looking for classy ways to upcycle vintage items or to use collectibles that start to accumulate. I also want only those projects that fit appropriately in a classy home setting. I really love this idea with old books, it actually looks very classy and would fit perfect in someones library or den. I enjoy old books so much but since the Nook and those like it have come out people are not as interested in the hard copies. I personally rather read it from a book and physically hold onto the item but I am older and this is a new age. I hope you find this as cool a project as I did.
Create Book Shelves

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Aromatherapy Thursday ~ Thyme

Thyme is often thought of as a seasoning for poultry or other meats but just like most other herbs it has many great properties that are used in aromatherapy, homeopathy and cosmetics.
These wonderful organic seeds were found in ETSY shop Cubits at
 http://www.etsy.com/shop/cubits?ref=seller_info
From a gardener's perspective, thyme is a wonderful plant because it is easy to grow and maintain. It is also wonderful to have in the garden because of the wide variety of thyme plants that you can pick from.  They can vary from plants that are bushy and tall to some that are ground cover.  They also come in different shades of greens and have different shaped/size leaves, so you can easily enhance the visual affect of your herb garden by adding a few different thyme plants.  I also love the fact that it comes in so many different scents; lemon thyme is scented like heavenly lemon and traditional English time was what I enjoyed in my garden.  As I would weed my beautiful little ground covers I could feel my mood get better and stress gently waft away on the scent of thyme.

Romans are said to have also used this plant's aroma to chase away melancholy.  Today it is used in the same manner and used by aromatherapists to strengthen one emotionally and mentally.  Whenever I am breathing the scent in while I work with a sachet mix that includes a little thyme I can feel the my brain fog lift.

Cosmetically, thyme is considered a good disinfectant, an antiseptic, and great for toning the skin.  Because of these great cleansing and toning properties thyme is often found in quality natural face creams, baths, lotions, and more.

Thyme is also useful as a natural decongestant, it can aid in digestion and is also thought to be a good muscle relaxant.  But as with any other homeopathic remedy you should always check with your doctor before using and never use this as a substitute for medical treatment.

Whenever using an essential oils conduct an allergy test prior to use and never apply directly to your skin or directly stick your nose close to the bottle (dropper, spoon, cover, etc.)  Often essential oils are strong enough to burn the thin membranes inside your nose.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Weekly Treasury Overview

Good morning, I hope everyone had as wonderful a Christmas as I did.  It was a little bit different this year and quite but when you spend it with someone you love it is always blessed.  Normally we go back to the Midwest to see our kids but this year we did it at Thanksgiving.  No matter when we go it seems that the holidays just fly by. 

With the holidays my schedule is off a bit and I am having a wee bit of a time trying to figure out what day it is.  So I am going to post today the lovely treasuries that featured items this past week from PostcardsInTheAttic and ButterflyInTheAttic. 

Thank you to my teammates at etsy for creating these...

Saturday, December 24, 2011

WOW! - Handmade Fabric Postcards ~ Introducing ~ Sew Upscale

What a wonderful Christmas Eve!  Pine scent is in the air, I am off work and I just met a great artist; who could ask for more?

I love stitchery and you all know I   L  O  V  E   postcards! so what could be better than handmade fabric postcards.   Linda Johnson, owner of Sew Upscale, creates these unique quilted postcards.  I must confess that this is the first time I have seen a combination of the two arts and I think they are simply wonderful.
http://www.etsy.com/shop/SewUpscale?&utm_source=Facebook&utm_medium=App_Seller&utm_content=shops&utm_campaign=fb_seller_shop
Tell me a bit about yourself……
Making quilted fabric postcards has been an obsession for about three years. I thought I would get over it, get bored and want to move to something new but I haven’t. I think it is because each one is so different. Soon after I joined Etsy in 2007 as a buyer, I started selling a variety of sewn items. I saw a quilted fabric postcard and taught myself how to make one. After that, I started selling the postcards on Etsy. I have developed a style I feel is unique. I’m very lucky to have a wonderful family that encourages my passion.
http://www.etsy.com/listing/88764234/fabric-postcard-art-quilt-fiber-art
Apart from creating, what do you do? 
 I am retired from my job as a social worker so my schedule is flexible. I try to exercise regularly. I walk and hike. Also love to spend time with my grandchildren. I recently got a bread machine so I have been experimenting with making bread. Traveling is also a passion of mine.


What first made you want to create?
Sewing was the first crafting I can remember doing. My mother and grandmother both sewed so I learned from them. I’ve just always loved to create things.


Describe your creative process? 
My creativity is driven by my surroundings. I love nature and outdoor stuff so these are my inspiration. I don’t use a pattern. I start with a 4” by 6” piece of fabric and build from there. I draw with scissors and paint with thread.
http://www.etsy.com/listing/86316659/cat-and-moon-fabric-postcard-art-quilt
What handmade possession do you cherish most? 
A doll quilt made by my grandmother.


How are you promoting your work? 
I promote my work online by using Facebook and Twitter. My Facebook is http://facebook.com/SewUpscaleQuilts and twitter is http://twitter.com/sewupscale. My postcards are also sold at Mountain Made in downtown Asheville, NC.

Thank you Linda for taking the time to do this interview. 

Please stop by Linda Johnson's cute little shop Sew Upscale to see more of her amazing art.  Remember to add her shop to your favorites and circle too! 

Happy Holidays Everyone!!!!!!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Aromatherapy Thursday - Lemongrass

These wonderful Lemongrass plants can be purchased from ETSY shop Allzeros at http://www.etsy.com/shop/allzeros?ref=seller_info
I have just become a proud owner of some Lemongrass plants.  A friend of mine has giving me some cuttings and they are sprouting like mad.  I love this herb because not only does it look pretty, it smells heavenly (just like lemons) and the aroma really uplifts my spirits in the gray winter months.  But not only is Lemongrass great for aromatherapy it is wonderful to cook with and in teas; this is one of the more versatile herbs that I have found.  Lemongrass is very mild and has a wonderful flavor of lemon that will pair very nicely with fish and chicken.  This herb is also thought to aid in digestion.

Topically Lemongrass has been used to treat large pores and improve scalp condition.  You can add a few drops of essential oil to your shampoos or body wash and mix well to benefit from these properties.  If you would rather purchase products that are rich in these oils and smell wonderful there are many available for sale at ETSY that are handmade. 

Its aromatherapy properties is known to help with nerves and to ease stress.  I personally find this to be true as I package my lovely Sunny Lemon Grass Sachet mix I feel more calm and relaxed.
My sachet mix includes lemongrass, citrus peel and lemon verbena along with other dried botanicals
and essential oils for a bright sunny lemon scent.
http://www.etsy.com/listing/77902335/50-off-sale-handmade-sunny-lemon-grass
Aromatherapy can be as simple as adding a few drops of Lemongrass oil to a cotton ball to use in the car for travel or as complex as diffusing oil with multiple tones.  I like to keep things simple and often will use only one or two essential oils together.  Lemongrass paired with mandarin is a very refreshing and mood stabilizing fragrance.  Here are some other products from ETSY shops using Lemongrass that are handmade and absolutely beautiful.

As with any homeopathy and aromatherapy you should always consult your physician first, never use it in replace of medical treatment and do a allergy test before using.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Red Hot in the Winter Cold

The right contrasting colors can just be amazing!!!  I hate being cold but I love the look of ice.  I have always been drawn to the heat so of coarse red is one of my favorite colors.   The items in this treasury would just set the place on fire if it was for the ice.  How fun!


Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Cats With Attitude ~ One of Favorite ETSY Artists

     I am not sure if this will be a regular topic for my blog post but I decided that today will be a day to share one of my favorite ETSY artist. Sometimes when I am browsing the items I come across something that I just absolutely love.   It draws me in and I find myself going back to it over and over again.

     The artist that has topped my list would be Maria van Bruggen who has a very cute little shop called Cats With Attitude.   I am drawn this her work, I think, because I am a true cat lover. I have often joked (but think it to be true) that if it wasn't for my husband I would have been the crazy cat lady of our neighborhood. But alas I am living with a very practical man and I am cat-less.

     On one occasion I did have 3 very beautiful and very spoiled furry children. One was black and white, I named him Sox, he was a happy cat but very confused. He thought he was a dog and enjoyed playing fetch as a pastime but was also a very finicky vegetarian. He suffered from terrible allergies to cats and would find himself sneezing uncontrollably when he bathed.

     Number two was a very stuffy and fussy grey cat that would argue that he was not grey but a kind of dark buff blue and that was what made him special. He would often lie lazily in sun beams hoping that the light would catch him just right and I would notice the highlights in his hair.

     The last cat was a bit of a mess and after years of counseling and family support finally overcame bulimia. He became a lanky trim tabby that would shun other cats with eating disorders. He felt that he was superior because he had the strength to overcome his illness and these others just simply lacked his self control. Secretly he loathed that he had to stop eating excessively and was resentful of other less fit cats that had the luxury of eating themselves into oblivion.  He was a bit annoying and needy. All of three of these characters grew up and moved on to live with friends when I moved to Cali.  I will get updates here and there of their latest adventures and how well they are doing.

     I believe that people who successfully depict cats in their art must have or have had lived with one. Cats With Attitude does a wonderful job capturing the hilarious antics that only a cat could pull off or at least dare to try. Their cute whimsical little characters are simply sweet but oh so naughty. I hope you enjoy the little sample of their work as much as I do and stop by their shop, you won't be sorry that you did.

Here are two of Maria's pieces in water color...

http://www.etsy.com/listing/85470999/skate-cat-christmas-winter-holiday
http://www.etsy.com/listing/70546293/mission-impossible-limited-edition-print
This one is her art made into a cute little key chain, L O V E It!
http://www.etsy.com/listing/49554124/mad-catalist-keychain-artist-keychain

Have a wonderful day and don't forget to stop by and check out the rest of her cute little kitties!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Oh Christmas Tree

     The history of the Christmas tree actually begins before there was even a Christmas. Prior to the dawn of Christianity, many people in the northern hemisphere believed that winter occurred because the sun god was ill and was growing weak. They celebrated the Winter solstice on December 21st and 22nd because these were the shortest days of the year and at long last the god would begin to recover and warm the lands. The evergreens would remind them of all the lush green plants that would grow when the god was healthy again. These early people would bring in boughs of evergreen to decorate their doorways and windows, some believed that it would help keep witches, evil spirits, and illness away during these dark and cold months. They were not the only early people to find evergreen plants to have special meaning and power.


     Many cultures, from the Egyptians to the Vikings, associated the evergreens in their area with a sun god and would bring a evergreen in to signify the end of winter and the upcoming bountiful season. Often evergreens were thought to signify resurrection and the triumph of life over death.
 
     It was in Germany, around the 16th century, that we find reference to the first Christian practice of bringing inside the evergreens as a celebration of Christmas. More than likely it represented to the Christians a similar message of rebirth and resurrection as it did for earlier pagan people. Because of this connection with paganism it was not accepted into Puritan America until around the mid 18th century. I am personally glad that I missed those solemn and Stoic days of the Puritan society. I can't imagine having been penalized for being happy and celebrating Christ's birth.
This wonderful vintage paper tray depicting a traditional German celebration was found in ETSY shop A Vintage Smattering at
http://www.etsy.com/shop/aVintageSmattering?ref=seller_info
     It wasn't until a picture of the very popular Queen Victoria and Prince Albert sitting aside a Christmas tree with their children to make the evergreen the symbol of Christmas as we know it today. Once this infamous couple deemed it fashionable it mainstreamed and America embraced it, importing German ornaments by the end of the 19th century. It is amazing to see how things have changed in a few short centuries. Many of us wouldn't know what it would be like not to have a Christmas tree in their home or yard beaming light through the long dark winter nights. The lighting of Christmas trees in homes, court yards and squares signifies the start of festivities and celebrations nation wide. What a dreary month December would be without our beloved Christmas tree.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Saturday Weekly Treasury Overview

Just a quick thank you for all the Etsians that included ButterflyInTheAttic or PostcardsInTheAttic in their treasuries. Some of these treasuries were absolutely stunning and all are excellenting curated. I hope everyone is has had a beautiful week. Since my days off are screwy and I don't know even what day is sometimes..."Happy Friday" to me. Thanks again!!!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Aromatherapy Thursday - Myrrh

Matthew 2:11
And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense and myrrh.

Just like Frankincense the Bible speaks about Myrrh as a Holy sacrifice given as gift to the baby Jesus.  It was considered to be a gift of great wealth and is referenced throughout the bible as used in religious ceremonies and for physical treatments.

Myrrh is considered to have antiseptic and anti-fungal properties that can help cleans and treat wounds.  Because of this antiseptic affect Myrrh is used in some tooth pastes.  It also had properties that can calm and sooth nerves; the anointing oils mentioned in the bible would be a similar mixture to the massage oils that we use today.

Myrrh is often burned during religious ceremonies because it has the metaphysical power to open the Astral Veil.  Because one does not want to randomly open this channel between this world and the  spiritual world, it is usually used with another incense such as Frankincense.  Together with Frankincense it is powerful in drawing positive energy and angels.
This wonderful incense can be found in my shop Butterfly In The Attic at http://www.etsy.com/listing/87832439/christmas-incense-myrrh-resin-religious
Just like Frankincense, Myrrh is a resin that is harvested from a tree in the Middle East.  The oil is also made from the resin (sap) of the tree rather than the leaves or fruit.  It has a camphor smell and is used in aromatherapy as a stimulant and for rejuvenation.
Goddess Naturals carries a large selection of natural bath and beauty products. 
One of their many wonderful items is a Myrrh Himalayan Toothpowder that can be found
http://www.etsy.com/shop/Goddessnaturals?ref=seller_info
Simple ways of using Myrrh would be to add a few drops to a aromatherapy diffuser or to mix with a carrier oil such as grape seed oil.  Myrrh oil should never be placed directly on the skin and should always be diluted with a carrier oil.  Another simple use is to simply add a few tears of Myrrh resin to a bed of hot coals and burn as with other incense.  Please use the standard precautions for burning incense.

Best of all there are many products already made for you that can be easily found in a number ETSY shops.  Not only do they have the wonderful properties that Myrrh boasts but they are beautiful too.

As with all aromatherapy and homeopathy, you should contact your physician and test for allergies prior to use. 

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

The Muppets Are Back In Town! ~All is well

Growing up in the 70's and 80's was an amazing time.  I was smack dab in the middle of many significant changes in history and culture.  I was around to see a boom time, one that many of us would look back on with nostalgia and longing.  The collapse of the Berlin wall, the end of the cold war, the country's financial stability and more important the world was introduced to the Muppets. 

While many of us long for the security we felt when the country was thriving financially and politically we can't go back in time or resurrect the past.  But what we can do is watch reruns and make sequels.  Maybe that is why I am so gravitated to these cute little puppets.  Not only do they bring cute antics and fun entertainment but they carry with them a memory of better times, comforting me and letting me know that yes they are still here.  Kermit hasn't forgotten me and look he brought Miss Piggy...
This amazing handfelted art was created and found in ETSY shop Woolington Lane at http://www.etsy.com/shop/WoolingtonLane?ref=seller_info
...OR maybe it is 2:30 am and I really need to look at getting more sleep at night.  I am not sure which it is but what I do know is that Muppets were great and it is nice to see an old familiar face.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

The Colors Of Christmas Morning

I have never been a big fan of the color combination red and green.  I am not sure why because I absolutely love Christmas and have never felt the bah humbugs so it is not an anti-Christmas thing. 


I love to decorate in blues and whites or bright flashy pink paired with crystal clear ice.  I went through a Victorian trend with ivory and rose and many other but very few included those traditional tones.  It is possible that my reasons are simply that I must break the rules and thus you more than likely will never see my house donning red and green.

See what I mean?  How pretty is that?  This beautiful ornament was found in ETSY shop Fragile Garden at http://www.etsy.com/shop/fragilegarden?ref=seller_info
Here are some more great items:
I was featured in this amazing treasury that actually inspired today's post. Thank you Kathleen Lowe of Florida Beach Chic:

Sunday, December 11, 2011

I Dream Of Macy's Christmas Windows

We often hear about family traditions and I certainly talk a lot about them, but I have realized that over the years I have developed several of my own personal traditions.  I am sure many of us have those things that we just have to do every year or so and they are often called habits or something else but most are really traditions.  I love my traditions and have been faithfully celebrating and finding these every year on my own.

I've been married before and, of coursed, lived with my parents when I was growing up; I never thought much about how they would say I was boring for wanting to watch the Macy's Thanksgiving Parade.  Not a soul in my network thought it would be fun to watch It's A Wonderful Life for the 50th time but I faithfully watched my old movies every year, even as a kid.  I didn't even think much about how people would dismiss my desire to see the Macy's Christmas windows and they were disgusted to even think of going into the city just to see the lights.  But I still, to this day, watch old Christmas movies right after Thanksgiving and I still love the parade and I dreamt every year of going to see, first hand, the Macy's windows; that is until a few years ago. 

My first holiday with my husband, Terry, started with some challenges; I had just moved across the country and had mixed emotions about the coming Christmas season.  I missed my children and it since we just moved couldn't fly back to see them.  It was also a huge cultural adjustment.  The differences were more than I had expected since we were still in the US and I hadn't moved to a new country for Pete's sake. While I was a little sad in the beginning I soon discovered something truly amazing about us as a couple.

I hadn't shared with Terry my little traditions because over the years you just become so used to friends and family thinking they are strange or hokey you stop mentioning them.  As I made plans for Thanksgiving that year he mentioned watching the parade, what!?   I almost thought I didn't hear him right.  We started talking about how everyone always thought we were silly for watching the parade ever year and how we remained steadfast despite having to watch it by ourselves.  For the first time Terry and I watched the Macy's parade with someone willing and excited to join us in our personal traditions.

'Holiday traditions...Here Comes Santa Clause' by postcardsintheattic

The Macy's Parade and Christmas windows are a huge part of my holiday traditions.

Santa Claus And His Elf...
$30.00
Santa balloon at Macy&#...
$3.50
Even More MACY's TH...
$20.00
2.25" Magnets-Macy...
$16.00
Chicago Holiday Scene C...
$2.95
Macy's Day Parade- ...
$6.00
Fine Art Photography - ...
$15.00
Vintage Marshall Fields...
$400.00
Fine Art Print Reproduc...
$18.00
Original 1935 New York ...
$16.00
Vintage Gold Key Comics...
$2.50
Santa Animal Parade wit...
$200.00
Polymer Llamas Waiting ...
$30.00
Wall Art. Winter Parade...
$11.20
Spray Gun & Tin Man Col...
$4.00
Believe- Christmas in N...
$8.00
H2 style="FONT-FAMILY: sans-serif; MARGIN-LEFT: 10px; FONT-SIZE: 16px">'Holiday Traditions...Christmas classics' by postcardsintheattic

My favorite classic Christmas movies

White Christmas Recycle...
$8.00
Vintage Movie Poster - ...
$99.99
Magnet- Miracle on 34th...
$3.50
Miracle Ornament
$4.00
Chevy Chase National La...
$3.99
Is Rusty Still in the N...
$1.00
George Lassos the Moon ...
$15.00
Scrabble Tile Pendant ...
$5.95
How the Grinch Stole Ch...
$14.99
Grinch Steals the Chris...
$24.00
1958 Rudolph The Red No...
$15.00
Christmas Classic "...
$16.50
Vintage A Charlie Brown...
$7.50
Charlie Brown Christmas...
$15.00
The A Christmas Story M...
$1.00
A Christmas Story VHS t...
$5.00

During that first year I found that we both love It's A Wonderful Life, Miracle On 34th Street, and National Lampoon's Christmas; we watch them every year at least once.  Every year we decorate our tree and home the day after Thanksgiving and take it down the day after New Years.  And best of all my dream to see the Macy's Christmas Windows did not seem silly to him at all.  The very next Christmas he took me to Chicago to see their Macy's windows, until then I thought it was only done in New York City. 

My personal traditions have been so important to me that I didn't give them up even if I had to do them by myself and even face a little teasing. My traditions help me get into the Christmas spirit and simply made me feel good. But now these traditions are so much more important to me because they are no longer just my personal ones but they are true family traditions.

Happy Holidays
This years Macy's Windows