Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Thankful

I am so incredibly thankful.  I have been so busy with work, home, friends, and family that I haven't had the opportunity to sit down to write.  That may sound bizarre, but I am thrilled. 

I am thankful for the many new customers who came to shop at WoodstreamDream when I was at the Collingswood Farmers' Market in September and November.  I love meeting new people and creating one-of-a-kind items for each of you!

I'm also incredibly grateful that I'm well this year and I can get lost in the day to day with my family!  All of my wonderful adventures have seemingly multiplied this autumn and it's absolutely divine!  I am blessed to have had such a wonderful year both professionally and personally.

Currently I'm working on reorganizing my stock for Saturday's show at Eastern High School.  My last show at the Collingswood Farmers' Market was on a particularly windy day and just about everything got reshuffled into different containers so they wouldn't blow away!  Fortunately Saturday I'll be inside and nothing will be blowing away!

I'm also figuring out my 2014 teaching schedule for my crochet classes - yes, I'm adding classes.  They will begin in January 2014.  So if you're local and interested, you'll have the opportunity to join me for classes.  More information will be available here and on Facebook by December 20th.  I will email a PDF gift certificate to anyone who would like to give the gift of Crochet Classes to their loved one for Christmas, with a paid in full set of classes paid in cash or via PayPal invoice.

If you haven't signed up for my email blasts - please do so.  I only send them out a handful of times per year, but I do offer specials only to my email subscribers.  Look on the right hand side of my blog and sign up for the email newsletter.

Thank you for stopping by to check in.  I appreciate the time you take to check in on me and my business.
Have a blessed week!
~Nicole




Monday, October 28, 2013

Fall Events Schedule

I can barely believe that it's been six weeks since I last posted.  I've been busy creating and experiencing art during that lapse.  I will post more about what I'm creating and what I explored this month in coming posts.  Here's some important information:

Fall Events Schedule

Collingswood Farmers' Market - Handmade Holidays
Saturdays, November 2 | 16 | 23 rain or shine 8am-noon

Eastern High School Band Parents' Holiday Craft Show
Saturday, December 7 9am-3pm
Laurel Oak Road, Voorhees, NJ

Markeim Art Center - Give the Gift of Art - 100s Under $100
Thursday, December 12 through Friday, December 20
Meet the Artists Reception Friday, December 13 7-9pm
visit Markeim online for more information on hours
104 Walnut Street, Haddonfield, NJ

A snippet of what I've been working on.  These will be for sale starting Saturday...

crochet snowflake ornaments $4 - $6 each

If you see something for sale at an event, but don't see it in one of my Etsy shops, please email me to inquire.  I don't list all of my inventory online.

Cut off for custom orders for the 2013 Holiday Season is Friday, November 1st.  Anything custom ordered after that date is not guaranteed for delivery until early 2014.  

Thank you so much for stopping by to check in on me and my creations!
Have a blessed week!
~Nicole

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Busy season

Well, it's been nearly two months since I've blogged, terrible of me, but I was making up for lost time with my children after last year's surgery-recovery cycle.

Kitty Hawk - July 2013 - taken during a visit with my brother and his family

We had an absolutely wonderful summer!  Lots of visiting and trips and fun.  We're also about 3/4 through our bathroom renovation. Last week was back to school for the kiddos and my husband went away on business.  As hard as I tried, I didn't get much done work-wise.

This week I've been better - getting things ready for the kick off to the fall season!  I have a new tent that you'll see at the Collingswood Farmers' Market this fall.  I am also working on new products - fine art nature photography, organic cotton shams adorned with upcycled cashmere and wool, and some new items for baby!  I am working on a new look to my newsletter this week, but more on that later!



This is the fall schedule:

Saturday, September 28 - 8 am to noon - at the Collingswood Farmers' Market - I'm the featured artist of the week - please stop by and shop if you're in the area!

Handmade Holiday Bazaar @ the Collingswood Farmers' Market - 8 am to noon under the PATCO line.  I'll be there the following dates:
Saturday, November 2
Saturday, November 16
Saturday, November 23

Saturday, December 7 - 9 am to 3 pm - Eastern High School Holiday Craft Show - I believe I'll be in the gymnasium.

Thursday, December 12th through 20th - times vary daily - Markeim Arts Center - Give the Gift of Art - 100s Under $100 - visit the website for more information.

Please sign up for the email newsletter - you won't receive too many from me - maybe 4-6 per year with information on events, special sales, etc.  I will never share or sell your email addresses!  My first one is set to go out soon so make sure you sign up!

Thanks for checking in!  Have a blessed day!
~Nicole

Friday, July 19, 2013

Creative Road Block

Laughter really is the best medicine, especially when things seem to be going backward instead of forward.

A week ago we started our bathroom renovation (I will post the photo chronicle when the job is done).  A renovation in itself is stressful, but made much less by the generousness of my parents for taking our children for nine and a half days.  They return tomorrow afternoon and we'll be glad to see them!

To add to the stress and need of a good crying laugh, the weekend before our renovation started, our dryer died.  After three visits from the repair guy with an array of parts our dryer was deemed unable to be repaired.  At that point I'd been without a dryer for nine days and had missed out on the Independence Day sales from the previous week.  So we coughed up the money for a new dryer and it was delivered the next day.  I've been happily doing laundry for several days now and am so glad to have fluffy towels instead of the cardboard that the clothesline was creating!

Our attic fan also has died, sometime between Sunday and Monday this week and it's been a heatwave here in New Jersey, so it makes it quite uncomfortable at night on the second floor and more strenuous on the air conditioner to keep the house cool.  My husband plans to look at it as soon as the sheetrock is out of the hallway and he can pull down the attic steps, but I think he's waiting for the heat to break so that he doesn't have to go into the super hot attic.  I don't blame him one bit!

Gratefully the heat is supposed to break tomorrow night when a stormy front pushes through the area.  I pray it's less violent than the storm from last night, hail damaged several of my plants in the patch - the squash leaves are scarred terribly.  As sad as I was about the dammage, I am grateful that I finally had the first picking from the patch this week, a cucumber.  I have a tomato just starting to pink up and two more cukes that should be ready over the weekend.  This doesn't seem to be the year for summer squash and zucchini - all male blooms, not a squash to be found in six plants.  My purple potatoes are growing like gangbusters, I hope that there will be good digging there soon!  I transplanted carrots a few days ago, some are in a pot on the patio and others are around the tomatoes.  I'm experimenting with those this year.  If you're curious as to what to companion plant, you should borrow these two books from your library and take good notes:  Carrots Love Tomatoes and Roses Love Garlic - they've been invaluable to me over my dozen or so years of gardening.  I learn more each year and I cannot imagine being successful without.

This week I mailed my items that will be gifted at the indiExhibit Celebrity Gifting Lounge for the 2013 Prime Time Emmys.  They're a new item that I'm adding to my product line on Etsy, part of my new sewn organic cotton items.  I was supposed to get many more items created, but without a dryer, I couldn't properly preshrink the items before sewing.  Those items will be made after vacation!  The dryer was my creative road block, unavoidable, but at least I've been able to accomplish other things!

organic cotton eye pillow filled with organic flax seeds

packaged and ready to ship: 

I will be adding the organic eye pillows and eye pillow covers to my shop in the coming weeks. There is the option to have organic lavender flower buds added to the pillow, but the ones I shipped were all unscented.

Add to your calendar that I'll be the Featured Artist at the Collingswood Farmer's Market on Saturday, September 28th from 8am-noon.  I'll post more information about it when the date gets closer.

The past week or so has been stressful, but I'm grateful that I had my faith and humor to rely on, as well as celebrating my 11th wedding anniversary with my husband - teamwork really does pay off, helps us grow stronger both as a couple and as individuals.

Thanks so much for checking in!  Have a blessed weekend!
~Nicole

Monday, July 1, 2013

Rolling along...

July!  Can you believe it?  We just finished the rainiest June that I can remember!

I'm praying for a dry Saturday so I can finish my painting jobs for the bathroom renovation - and do some abstract art with my boys - both things I refuse to do inside because I am a very messy painter and I hope to instill my messiness into my boys via tubes of acrylic paint and canvas!  I also long to go out into the garden, but it's rained so much that it's rather swamp-like and my husband hasn't been able to mow or weed-whack because of the outpouring of love from the clouds above!  My plants seem to be happy, they're growing like gangbusters, but I do need to mound the potatoes before they start peeking through the surface.

I am getting ready for the fall and Christmas selling season.  Last week, in the midst of vacation Bible school, I crochet and felted ten more black wool mice and they're packaged with catnip.

Cat Nip Mouse Toy - Felted Black Wool

The 2013 Teen Choice Awards are coming up and these are the items I shipped to gift at the indiExhibit Celebrity Gifting Lounge.  Crochet lidded baskets are in the gifting bags and the handled basket will be on display for someone to choose.


I have one of each of these baskets available for sale and I can make them in custom sizes upon request.

Look for matted prints of my floral and scenic photography to be added to WoodstreamPapery this summer along with a variety of scenic and floral cards.

I will continue to work on adding stock to my Etsy shops over the coming weeks.

Thanks for checking in!  Have a blessed week!
~Nicole

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Savoring

I'm savoring life right now.  I sneak away and work on a crochet sunhat for myself every now and again.  I'm also dreaming up what I'm making for my son's second grade teacher... last day of second grade is quickly approaching, maybe I should just do instead of pondering, but dreams really do make the best creations.

I am working on several ideas that I'll be working on over the summer in preparation for the autumn markets and exhibits.  I look forward to sharing them with you as I create them.

I am dreaming of the art I want to hang in my bathroom once it's finished.  I've settled on a canvas wrapped photograph that I took on an early morning in Virginia Beach last year or Panama City Beach, both taken in November 2012 after our exodus from Sandy.  These are the photos I'm considering...


Panama City Beach I

Panama City Beach II

Panama City Beach III

Virginia Beach

In my searches for just the right thing, I have decided that sometimes the right thing is to find someone to make it for me.  I think that we forget about the artisans in the world.  We got to Etsy and browse and then to Pottery Barn, Restoration Hardware, Bed Bath & Beyond, the Dollar Store, and all of those places that have things that are cookie cutter, mass produced.  I'm guilty of it.  I have done it, too often.  I'm making an effort to go to those I know, or seek out artisans who have the know-how, and hire them.  It's made a hop-skip-and jump away, not having a trip through Customs.  I can work with the artisan to achieve exactly what I want and I have the thrill of having something that no one else has.  Sure it costs a bit more than I would pay for mass produced or even vintage, but sometimes that's okay.  Sometimes one needs to indulge.  I look forward to sharing what I am having made when it's complete, sometime next month, but I wanted to encourage you to seek out the local artisans in your area to help you if there's something you're in need of that you cannot make on your own.  It will be so satisfying for all parties.

Now I'm off to make sweet cherry jam because I am craving it and I know that it will taste this winter on the dark, cold days to come!  I'm also nostalgic about sweet cherry jam because it was my favorite breakfast condiment many years ago when I visited Europe - sweet cherry jam, croissants, and coffee.

Be well!  Thank you for stopping in to read.

Have a blessed week!
~Nicole

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

June, already???

Oh, my!  How can it be June already?

Last month I was in the Birds and Blooms Exhibit at Markeim Arts Center in Haddonfield, New Jersey.  That was fantastic.  At the closing party a kid, really a kid - he's 14, did abstract painting and it was spectacular to watch.  I never "got" abstract art before, but he had such energy and such a method - it really was something.  His name is Nick Kepron, his work is vibrant!  I sold a few pieces at the show, so that's always a pleasure.

Now everything's home.  I've gone through my inventory and have several items to photograph and list on WoodstreamDream and WoodstreamPapery.

My summer looks good for creating and listing.  I am available for custom work - think about what your winter weather accessories looked like before you packed them up.  Needing a new scarf or cap?  Drop me a line and I'll work with you to create something just for you!

I'm continuing work on my studio.  That was put on hold while my husband had a flurry of travel and my older son had two bouts with the stomach bug last month.  It's back on track.  Furniture has been moved.  More "stuff" to sort through and rearrange.  The destash table at my friend's yard sale last month helped to clear some stuff out.  After rearranging and sorting, my largest task is finding a table top surface to go over the filing cabinets (so I have smooth flat work surface) - the dimensions are 27ish by 54ish.  I think too deep for formica (my first thought).  Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

This month ends with my husband's birthday and my younger son's birthday back to back.  I'm working on getting everything settled for birthday parties and plans for the summer - trying to get travel plans nailed down.

I'm also working on ordering all that will be needed for our bathroom renovation coming up in July.  I will be posting renovation photos here.  Some of the projects are DIY - I bought an antique dresser and mirror that will be transformed into our vanity and medicine cabinet.  This is a gut job, right now it's a drafty 1964 bathroom with blue tile and tub.  I have showered for nearly four years straight and I'm ready for a good long soak in my new tub!  Most fixtures are chosen, some have been delivered and now reside in our garage.  We went through a kitchen renovation three years ago and this one should prove to be great for before & after photos, too!  I'm looking forward to the finished product, or at least when I can take a bath!

I will be back to photography and listing some time this week or next.  I have a couple new baskets and several new gift tags to get photographed and listed.  My delay is because yesterday morning I scratched my cornea when cleanser flicked up into my eye while cleaning the kitchen sink.  I find myself fatigued with wearing glasses, always needing to refocus it seems.  I go to the eye doctor tomorrow and hopefully sometime next week I can switch back to contacts.  For now it's eye drops every 4 waking hours and glasses.  It's not as painful as it was yesterday, so I'm hoping that I feel back to normal in a day or two.

Have a blessed week!  Thanks so much for checking in!
~Nicole

Monday, May 13, 2013

Summer is approaching...

I can barely believe it's been two weeks (or so) since I last wrote...  Time has flown by.  I had four PTO events in those two weeks.  My husband was supposed to have a six-day plus two-day business trip (back-to-back), but fortunately that's been scaled down to the two-day (this Thursday and Friday).  There was Mother's Day (Happy Mother's Day if you didn't read my FB posts over the weekend!).  I had an opening on May 3rd at Markeim Arts Center for Birds and Blossoms the 2013 Power of the Flower Exhibit.  Then there was the other day-to-day activities, you know - parenting, housekeeping, chauffeuring, cooking, laundry, shopping for our bathroom renovation, and basic holding down the fort stuff.

Meanwhile, I am counting the days until summer arrives... I get summer fever really bad.  I was a special education teacher for five years before we started our family and I can totally relate to the daydreaming and "senioritis" and all of that springtime behavior that's annoying in the classroom, but a reality that we cannot deny - we all want OUT!

My little one has five days of preschool, plus a school picnic and then he's done, oh the glories of preschool - finished before Memorial Day!!!

My older son has school until June 20th.  It's always hard when school goes past Father's Day.  It was always a marker for me on the calendar that summer had started.  Not this year.  Oh, well.

In planning our summer, I love to have impromptu things that I can pull out of my hat at a moment's notice.  Now last year I didn't really do this.  I was tied to the recovery schedule after my four spring surgeries.  It was not the spring, summer, or autumn that I envisioned with my children.  I think that's why I'm looking forward to this summer even more than usual.

I've started pinning ideas to my Kid Stuff board on Pinterest.

I've also started a list of things that I'd like to do with the kids, things we missed out on last year for one reason or another, and things the kids have mentioned wanting to do...


Beach Day (well, many more than just one)
Sprinkler
Have a cook out with friends
Grow a garden (that's more for me)
Go on a Hayride
Pick fruit
Bake something yummy with the fruit
Make jam to enjoy over the winter
Go whale watching
Find praying mantis (my older son)
Visit Steamtown (my younger son)
Visit Washington D.C.
River Sharks game (local baseball)
Sleep over Nana and Papa’s house (during our bathroom renovation)
Camp out back with Daddy (missed this last year)
Make Popsicles
Make homemade ice cream
Vacation Bible School
Visit Uncle Jon, Aunt Stacy, and Vanessa (yay, they're in the states this year!)
Go fishing with Uncle Joe (missed this last year)
Catch frogs at Grandmom and Grandpa’s (my older son)
Catch fireflies
Play croquet
Play badminton
Learn some bird calls (my older son has the mourning dove down pat, perhaps a few more)
PJ day with movies on a rainy day
Blow bubbles
Watch the clouds (missed this last year)
Track moon phases
Wash mom’s car
Have a science project day (or two)
Make homemade pasta
Make homemade pizza dough (I usually buy frozen whole wheat dough, they make it with my mom, but really we can do this at home ... when the pace slows during the summer)
Play with water balloons
Build a sandcastle
Go on a hike
Go to the library (I've been really bad about this with the boys since we moved to this house)
Use the metal detector at the beach
Fly kites
Make trail mix
Make a fruit pizza
Read  books (have to dig out some classics; definitely continuing the Chronicles of Narnia)
Make slime
Build a tepee (on my husband's list)
Draw on the driveway with chalk
Play checkers
Make a sand cast at the beach
Go swimming
Go on rides at Gillian’s (shore amusements on the boardwalk in Ocean City, NJ)
Play mini golf
Do a scavenger hunt
Look through the telescope at the summer night sky
Ride bikes

I hope that we'll get to do all of these things and more.  I'm sure that some of these things will be repeated, some deleted, and we'll add a few more as the summer approaches.

I want to take lots of pictures - of the flowers, of my family, of our adventures.  I want to bring a bag of crochet with me to the shore and sit in the sand crocheting under the umbrella as the kids bury each other and then go jump in the waves with my husband.  I want to tend my garden, eat from it, can for the winter, and share when there's abundance.

I want to savor each moment because really the memories are what matter most.  My children's memories of their childhood will shape how they spend time with their children.  I want them to have magnificent and magical memories that make them want to create memories of their own with their children.

What are you planning to do this summer?  I would love to hear from you in the comments section - maybe I'll add to my list when I hear of the fantastic things you're planning!

I'm currently working on a dark olive large handled basket.  I will be posting progress photos on my Facebook page this week.  Stop by to see how it's going and when it's ready for purchase!

Have a blessed week and thank you for stopping in!
~Nicole

Monday, April 29, 2013

Happenings... including a Feature Interview on Markets of Sunshine and Destash Sale

Hello!  I hope that your day was lovely and that you didn't have to endure the soggy day that I had here in New Jersey.

This week I'm the featured artist on the Markets of Sunshine Blog and you can read my here.

Saturday, May 4th, 8am-noon - I will be having a Destash Sale at a friend's yard sale in the 200 block of Dayton Avenue in Collingswood, New Jersey.  I will have a table full of items at bargain prices, ready for you to make something beautiful!  Please stop by, we'll be right down the street from the Collingswood Farmer's Market - it's opening week - so exciting!!!


Now for some news that I don't think you're expecting...

I'm taking the time to step back a bit from my professional world to spend time with my children.  I am feeling the nudge from God that my work has been taking me farther from my family than just the next room and I need to address that in my own way.  

I plan to continue creating and fulfilling the creative outlet that I do need and enjoy, but to a lesser scale than I had been striving for in the past several months.  I have several items created, awaiting photographing and listing.  I will continue to create new items - the second generation Tech Sleeve idea is burning a hole in my creative pocket!  There are other items that I have in mind and they will be made as well, but in due time.  I also will be accepting custom orders - my absolute favorite part of my job - creating something unique for a particular person.

Thank you so much for stopping by and reading.  I appreciate all of your support and I hope that you continue to stop by to read.

Many blessings to you and yours!
Best,
~Nicole

Monday, April 22, 2013

Event update - the BuzzFest in Houston with The indiExhibit - Earth Day Flash Sale - Custom Orders

My OOAK upcycled phone/tech case was featured at the BuzzFest this past weekend in Houston, Texas.  Check out photos here of the featured art that was gifted.

There are about two hours left to my Earth Day Flash Sale - 40% off when you purchase $50 or more of product from WoodstreamDream using code:  EARTHDAY at check out - valid through 10pm ET today, April 22, 2013.

I'm busy working on a custom order of pairs of baskets.  You can see the finished baskets that I posted here on Friday evening.

Thanks so much for stopping by!
Have a blessed week!  Praying that it's peaceful all around.
~Nicole

Monday, April 15, 2013

Wrenching

Again this afternoon I felt transported back 11.5 years ago to a horrible morning.  Then I was a teacher.  Today I'm a mom.  Then I sheltered my students - third and fourth grade boys and girls - from the terror.  Today I read online while my boys played and did homework.  I waited until they were playing outside with my husband tonight in the safety of our backyard before I dared to turn on the news.  I stopped watching the news many years ago - but tonight I wanted to know who and why, so much more elusive - WHY???????  I cannot scream it loud enough, I do not scream it at all, except inside - from every bit of my soul.

I know there are so many who are feeling this reeling, wrenching pain.  So many there who feel the physical pain that can't be taken away regardless of the amount of pain medication and that it will take so long to get past this day - to come to terms with this day, because one really never forgets this kind of thing.  This terror.  Wounds are torn open, actual and those that our friends cannot see, ones we hide with a smile and, "Fine."

But we are strong and resilient and we will be stronger and we will heal and remember and honor and revere those who stepped forward today and those who will never be the same and will never be forgotten because they were among the innocents.

This is the prayer I posted on my Facebook feed after I read first about what had happened...

Prayers for those in Boston and those reliving tragedies as they see this develop. Prayers for those helping, rescuing, and caring for victims. Prayers for those families that will never be the same.

I will continue my prayers tonight and for so many more nights to come.  And when this has faded from the headlines, something will remind me of this day and I will pray again.  I have faith.  Faith in our country and faith in the people.  Most importantly, faith in the Lord.  My faith gives me hope that He will teach me something that will make tomorrow a little bit easier to bear here on this earth.

Thank you for reading.  Please pray - or send positive thoughts, should you choose not to pray -  for those who are suffering tonight.  It will not end when the newspaper, Facebook, Twitter, and television headlines fade - remember and honor, regardless of the headline.

~Nicole

Saturday, April 13, 2013

The Market Happenings

So by now you know that I am a member of Markets of Sunshine.  We're a group of artists who create and sell, but our goal is to promote one another through cooperative advertising.

Our April Gift Boxes are now for sale.  This is the link to the YouTube video of the contents in this month's box.  The boxes are available for sale each month until they run out.  They contain 5 full-size products in the small box and 10 full-size products in the large box.  The profits of the sale of these boxes goes towards funding our advertising.

Markets of Sunshine has joined 40billion.com to continue to connect with people around the world.

The Markets have teamed up with the indiExhibit and have been featured in the Celebrity Gifting Lounge at the 2013 Academy Awards and will be at the BuzzFest in Houston this month.  We have two other celebrity events coming up later this year.

The NerdWallet has listed Markets of Sunshine in their Earth Day Ten Eco-conscious Businesses - this is because many of our shops (including both of mine) reuse, upcycle, and use eco-friendly materials in the production of our goods.

There's a blog contest weekly for anyone who wants to enter to win - this week the prize is Watkins Vanilla Extract and a Horse Key Chain by Delecto Art (one of our member shops).

When you purchase a Gift Box, you'll see an additional piece of my art... I've designed the note card included in each box.


Thanks for checking in and have a blessed weekend!

~Nicole


Friday, April 12, 2013

DIY - Dollar Store to Designer

My older son's birthday was last month.  Eight years-old, wow, I can barely believe how the time has flown by!

He is a nature lover - animals, plants, you name it and he probably knows more about it than any of us will in a life time.  March weather is tricky in New Jersey.  We can either have pleasant and sunny 70s or cold, windy, and sometimes snowy 20s.

This year I decided not to risk the home party and we hosted a handful of his friends at Woodford Cedar Run Wildlife Refuge.  It's not too far from our home and it was all about nature, just what my son would want.  Last summer we went there on a hike with friends and had a lovely time.

As I planned the party, I was trying to keep it simple.  The theme provided was Animal Tracks.  Light snacks that the kids and parents enjoy before a hike, check.  Of course we had to sing Happy Birthday!  Here's the idea I came up with for decorating the cupcakes sans food dye:


Cupcakes (don't you just love the paw prints?)



I was trying to figure out what to send home with the children as favors and it struck me... 
Nature Sketchbooks!




I purchased inexpensive notepads at the dollar store (look - made in the USA!) for each child.


Then with a few easy to find tools, I turned it into something much, much better.


I found free clipart and designed a cover to hide the dollar store blah-ness.
I printed out four per sheet of cardstock and cut each one to fit the top of the notepad.  
I used permanent adhesive to adhere the new covers to the notepad covers.


There was a gap between the top of the cardstock and the black adhesive trim of the notepad.  So I used a length of striped self-adhesive ribbon to hide the gap.





Voila!  Instant beautification!
Well, not quite instant, but it was quick and less expensive than ordering something custom.


You could also use this idea for a fashionista's birthday party - change the title to Fashion Sketchbook and the color of the cardstock, then deck it out with self-adhesive rhinestone bling.

Another aside perk to not having the party at our home was that we requested in lieu of gifts for guests to bring a bag of supplies for the animal hospital that's on the site of the wildlife refuge.  Everyone obliged, we helped the hospital and the animals, and have warm fuzzies from doing good instead of more toys to stumble over!

As always, thanks so much for stopping in!  I hope I've inspired you today.
Have a blessed weekend!

~Nicole

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Quick!

I have to run back out into the beautiful weather before it is snatched away, but I wanted to share this contest with you... 


Original Artwork Horse Keychain
Delecto Art's Horse Key Chain

Win Watkins Vanilla Extract and Delecto Art's Horse Key Chain - this is sponsored by Markets of Sunshine  - a group of artists and artisans who teams up to promote each other's art.  It's a cooperative effort to build better businesses all around!

If you're an artist and would like more information, please contact us through the link above and let them know that member #124, Nicole Meyers, sent you!

Ok, back to my kiddos - enjoying this sunshine - hope you're enjoying your day!  Have a blessed week!
~Nicole

Monday, March 18, 2013

Eco-Friendly ~ Beautiful ~ Functional

You know that hurt that feels so good because you've been working on something that has been a goal.  You know - after you've had a great workout and you're sore for the next two days (like I'll feel after tomorrow morning's yogalaties class)... that kind of hurt.

Well, I'm feeling it in my hands after stitching for days on end and I am cringing as I type because the Advil hasn't really kicked in.

Tech sleeves, boutonnieres, flower pins, adorned headbands...  my hands have been busy!

I have created so many new tech sleeves - they fit my title, my motto, perfectly - 

eco-friendly ~ beautiful ~ functional

I start by felting my neutrals - sweaters and cardigans I had no idea what to do with because they were beautiful neutral colors, but wouldn't really make vibrant flowers.  So I've found a purpose - a function for them.  These neutrals are the bases for the tech sleeves.

Once felted (a.k.a. - shrunk very carefully so that I don't ruin my washer), I cut out about 8 sleeve bodies, depending on how much the garment has shrunk.

Then I get to cutting out petals.


The base color will determine what I put onto it - certain colors just don't go - orange and caramel - repel each other!  This charcoal with purple is just so beautiful!





The petals, stems, and vintage buttons (or polka dots... oh, yes, the polka dot is FUN!) get handstitched onto the base.




Then I pull out my sewing machine and stitch the whole thing around to create the sleeve and to prevent fraying on the flap edge.


Then the snaps get stitched on and last the leaf/petal (or last polka dot).

Then ta-da!  Tech sleeve is done and ready to protect the screen of your camera or smart phone before you go and toss it into your bag!



Multiply that by 20 tech sleeves - plus two flowers, a handful of adorned headbands, and two boutonnieres in about a week and you can see why my hands ache.  But it feels so good to create!  So good.

Eco-Friendly ~ Beautiful ~ Functional - what more could a girl ask for from an accessory?

I'm photographing this week and they'll be listed here by the weekend!

Thank you so much for your support and stopping by to read!
Have a blessed week!
~Nicole

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Lots of happenings...

There's news from me and news about the co-op I'm a member of.

First the co-op...
Sunshine Farm Girl Co-op is changing over to the Markets of Sunshine!
We have a beautifully renovated website!  You can find my shop in the Market Place section!

Our current sampler bag is the Pet Lover's Bag.  You have the option of a 5 item bag or a 10 item bag.  In the message at check out, please let them know that Nicole C. Meyers, member #124, helped you to find the Sampler!

Speaking of the Pet Lover Sampler... this is my WoodstreamDream product from the bag - now available in my Etsy shop:



crochet and felted black wool mouse - packaged with catnip...
my 11-year-old, Bella, loves hers and posed so nicely for me!

Back to the co-op...
Our weekly contest has two prizes now!!!  You have to visit the blog to enter the contest for a 1-year subscription to MARY JANE'S FARM Magazine (I subscribe and eagerly await each issue!!!) and an embroidered hand towel by another member shop - Kallie's Cotton.

One last item related to the co-op...
In an effort to support our community, we are raising funds to help those in need - especially local people struck with sudden illness, cancer, and homeless children.  This is our fundraiser link - for every dollar you spend on a purchase - Celebrating Home gives a portion to our fundraising campaign.

On to some other news from me...

I'm now an artist member at Markeim Arts Center.  This affords me the opportunity to have my own page on their site.  Click here to visit the page.  I plan to apply for some of their upcoming exhibits including fiber arts and flowers - stay tuned for news about those!

The Oscars have passed and I have added a design your own item to WoodstreamDream - if you would like to have a flower similar to those that were gifted at the Oscars Celebrity Gifting Lounge on Sunday night - just click here and follow the directions.  I will create one just for you!

Photos will be up soon from the Oscars and I will share them with you as soon as I can!

And in WoodstreamPapery, I've had the opportunity to add sets of five and ten note cards as well as individual note cards from the Peonies Series to my shop.


  



Ok, so now I'm going to get back to work creating ... hoping to add more new items next week!
Thank you for stopping by and reading!
~Nicole

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Another place to find me...

Here's the link to my page on Markeim Arts Center's website.  It's so exciting to be a part of a local art community!

As you may have seen - I've added the sets of note cards featuring my Peonies Series to WoodstreamPapery.  Individual note cards will be available for sale in the near future.

  Peonies Series - Mingling with Mint 3
As featured in ALL NATURAL @ Markeim
a Group Photography Exhibition of unretouched natural photography
February 8-March 1, 2013

Please stop by the Markeim Arts Center if you're in the area - the other photography displayed is stunning ... people traveled all over the world - Indonesia, Africa, Canary Islands, several National Parks... My eight-year-old was amazed when I took him on Saturday afternoon.

I'm busy with tax stuff this week - ugh, I know, but next week I'll be back to creating and I hope to unveil my new line of upcycled boutonnieres and stemmed flowers - perfect for bouquets!  

Thanks for stopping by!  Have a blessed week!
~Nicole

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

The Opening

Ok, for those of you who haven't seen this photo on my Facebook Fan Page, here it is, my photography and me at the opening of ALL NATURAL @ Markeim - Group Photography Exhibition of unretouched natural photography.


I am humbled to be among so many amazing photographers and the work they displayed... wow!  I am looking forward to taking my older son to see all of the stunning photographs.  I was kind of disappointed to not have brought him, but I never can tell how an almost eight-year-old will fare on a Friday evening.

If you live or work close enough, I encourage you to stop by Markeim Arts Center by March 1st to catch a glimpse of this work.  Photoshop has nothing on this exceptional unretouched photography!

Next week I'll be introducing the new line of Original Photography Note Cards to WoodstreamPapery - first up is the Peonies Series 1-5.  They'll be available as sets of five or ten cards as well as individual note cards.

Please remember to use coupon code:  VANZANT for 10% off your order and 15% will go to my son's elementary school PTO to help fund programs for the children.  The code is valid in both of my shops.

Thanks again for stopping by, I appreciate your patronage and support of small businesses like mine!
Have a blessed week!
~Nicole

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Fixing the long name curse - at least for Valentine's Day

My boys are like night and day - their interests, their coloring, the length of their names...  Ean was blessed with three easy letters, they fit easily just about anywhere.  Nathanael on the other hand - and no, he's not a Nate or Nathan, don't even try - has nine letters.  For a four-year-old trying to write that nine lettered name on valentines, that's a new kind of torture ... for us, too!

So I've fixed it so that mistakes can be made and I don't have to run to the drugstore to buy another pack of valentines.

Clear mailing labels, address size.  Godsend.  Clear really is best for this because whatever your child sticks the sticker on top of will still be able to be seen.

Take a sheet of labels ... lightly with pencil write your child's name.
He knows all capitals best right now, so we ran with those.


Then let your child trace his/her name with whatever color crayon works for the color paper s/he'll be applying it to (don't use yellow crayon for a yellow paper - we learned that is a no-go).


Then peel it off.


And stick it onto the valentine!  


We did learn with certain paper (the glossy, probably not great for the environment store-bought valentines that are being delivered this year) that the labels will pull back up to be rearranged or to get bumps and bubbles out.  This isn't guaranteed on all kinds of paper, but that glossy stuff sure allowed for multiple rearrangement of the labels, quite easily, too - since it was the four-year-old who did it!

Hopefully I've posted this so that all of the other parents who have long-named kids can run to their office supply store and pick up some clear mailing labels tomorrow during lunch and get those valentines done tomorrow night before the big day!

Thanks so much for stopping by!
Have a blessed week!
~Nicole