Wednesday, November 25, 2009


Happy Thanksgiving Everyone! I am extra grateful this year for all my wonderful new internet friends. I have enjoyed our conversations and getting to take all those little peeks into your creative worlds. I hope you all have a blessed and thankful day. Now go check on that know you will get those looks from the family if that bird is dry ;-)  Until next kind and stay creative.

Gargantuan Giveaway!!!!

 Hello friends! I want to share with you a huge, fabulous, stupendous, incredible and down right gargantuan of a giveaway! My friend Kristal over at The RikRak Studio is hosting the giveaway to end all giveaways. Over 30 sponsors have donated something fabulous from their  respective shops and what a variety. Just look at all the cool handcrafted treasures below. I am also participating, however Kristal did not receive my donation in time for the photos..Thank you USPS for taking 18 days to mail a little package to Ottowa! I was told 5-7 days...oh well, be nice Janet, remember it's the holiday season.


I donated a beautiful pair of my couture fingerless gloves in a gorgeous holiday red with red rosettes and diamond buttons! Very chic and oh so toasty and warm. I wish I had photographed them before posting them..totally forgot. They have already had 100's of entries so far, so give it a go. Just click on the RikRak Studio name at the beginning of my post and you will escorted away...Good Luck!
Until next kind and stay creative.

Monday, November 23, 2009

I Need More Time!!!!

 Arrrrrrrgh....the holidays are knocking at my back door and I am not ready for them! Where has the time gone, weren't we just trick or treating yesterday???? I have felt so outside the blogging -twittering -Facebook loop much to do and so little time. I know I am missing out on lot's of very cool blog postings and it is making me sad. I have been in my studio filling orders and trying to photograph my new creations for my Etsy shop. All very time consuming and I have to stop once in a while to hello to my hubby ;-) God bless that patient man! I thought that while I am busy getting all that done I would show you some gourds I painted and maybe a few tree ornaments. That should keep you busy until I get time to post something really cool. I have to come up with something really cool or you will be saying "I hung around for that!" The pressure is on...think Cool, Janet..think Cool! look at pictures until I come back.....

A dear friend was generous enough to give me some lovely dried gourds to paint on. Most in this photo are in the base coat stage. Cleaning with a bleach solution and much sanding comes first.

Here they are all painted and waiting for water based varnish.


This guy still needs his coat of varnish to make his color pop. The varnish makes a huge difference.
As you can tell by now, I love making Santas...all kinds. This little guy is only about 5-6 inches tall.

This is a winter country scene I am currently working on...still much to be added and it is a big painting. I enjoy painting winter  folkart scenes. I also have a passion for Salt Box houses. They look like little Monopoly pieces to me, so quaint and cozy.

These are a few wooden tag ornaments I paint every season.

Snowmen are another easy favorite to paint. Once in a while I have a victorian hiccup...hence the pink glass ball ornament.
Are you still with me???? I hope I have not bored you to tears, I promise a more interesting posting next time. Maybe some great holiday baking ideas (I am a BIG holiday baker). Until next kind and stay creative.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Home Again!

Morning friends...thank you all for the many encouraging comments about my Open House. My drive to NY was great, I sang at the top of my lungs to Michael Buble all the way there. Drivers around me thought I was a crazy woman I'm sure. When I got to my nieces house and began to unpack my car, she was amazed at how much stuff I had packed in so small a space. Her house was perfect for this event..large open floor plan, beautifully decorated and lot's of parking. Once everything was in place, I too was astounded at the amount of merchandise on display. It looked like I had rented a truck! All I can say is thank God for Space Bags!!! I told my hubby that the next we have to move I am not calling the big truck movers...I am packing everything into Space Bags! You hold the bag open and I'll shove the mattress in ;-)  I had expected to have a lot of ironing to do, what with all the air sucked out of the bags to make them like a pancake, but no...not a thing was wrinkled! They are amazing.

I know you all wanted photo's , but in all the rush and excitement..this is the only picture I managed to take. My sweet niece Susanne in her kitchen, which is fabulous I have to say. Susanne kept the coffee and wine flowing, which was a big help. I was so busy networking, greeting people and playing the role of checkout gal and bagging person that I didn't even stop to capture the event on film. I guess that is a good thing in a way...too busy making money. It was financially very successful and psychologically empowering. We creative souls sit in our studios or at our dining room tables and do what we know best...create. Their is usually no one around to say " I love that", so to have  people fill your head with compliments is such a treat. I was on cloud nine all weekend. I came home with a refreshed sense of creative selfworth and a bank account that is now a little fatter. Thanks go out to all my wonderful family and and old, who helped make my show such a positive event. I'm thinking this might become an annual event.

It is taking me some time, but I am slowly getting some new lovelies listed in my Etsy shop. I ran out of time to get these items in my shop before I left, so little by little they are all getting posted. Lot's of great holiday gift ideas for hard to buy for people. Well, I need to finish unpacking my Space until next time, be kind and stay creative.
PS......and ornaments were a huge hit with my shoppers! I was delayed leaving NY by 45 min because on the way out of town I spotted a huge Oak glutes are sore from all the squatting as I picked up acorn tops!!! Oh..the price of creativity ;-)

Thursday, November 12, 2009

New York ..Here I Come!!'s that time! I have my car packed to the rafters and I will be leaving in a few hours for New York. Saturday is my first and hopefully annual Holiday Home Show. I'm very excited and nervous at the same time. I feel a little like Sally Field must have felt before they awarded her the Oscar for best actress..."will they like me....will they really like me??? You young bloggers might not know what I am talking about...try to google Sally Field acceptance speech and you will understand. My hubby will be keeping the home fires burning while I am gone and my Etsy shop is in vacation mode. So off I go! Until next kind and stay creative.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Sweet Sweaters

Morning friends..just a quick post to show you a few of my latest creations. I am having 'sew' much fun putting these little beauties together. It is like playing with doll clothes and since I have sons only, it has been a real treat. Lot's of time, labor and handsewing goes into my upcycled fashions, but they are so worth it in the end.  I hope you agree and if you don't... don't tell me as it would break my heart ;-)  I know I some very talented and crafty ladies out there and any opinions on how to improve my sewing techniques is greatly appreciated. I have never considered myself a 'seamtress', but I do enjoy playing with my machine.

All of these started out as adult pullover or turtleneck wool and cashmere sweaters that I rescued from my local thrift shop. God bless all you people who ignore the washing directions on their labels ;-) It gives me so many fabulous garments to work with.

Love the vintage diamond buttons I added to this snowy white beauty.

All the embellishing is also felted sweater pieces and the design goes round to the back. I love how Merino wool felts..such a fine gauge.

Pretty caplet sleeves add to this cardigan's femininity and I love the antique crochet lace collar I added.  Good for winter over a turtleneck or perfect for spring.

More antique lace collars. I snap them up whenever I find a good bargain. Also more felted sweater embellishments. I am in the process of listing them in my Etsy shop, but I am hoping to sell them in NY this weekend. Wish me luck! Until next kind and stay creative.

Monday, November 9, 2009

The 'OMG..Do I Have Enough inventory' Hysteria

Morning friends, I woke up this morning with a wicked headache. I go through this every time I am getting ready for a show. I start wondering if I have created enough treasures for my show. I know the whole idea is to sell out, but I freak out about selling everything too early on and not having anything for shoppers who might come later in the afternoon. I have been taking inventory and packing up all my creations..I have alot of stuff! But just in case I decided to make some more holiday ornaments. I had some old canvas placemats that I never got around to painting, so I decided they would make fabulous painted sheep.

I cut out a basic sheep design and painted them, added some texture paste and beautiful imported German glass glitter (which you really have to see in person to appreciate the sparkle) and added a black curled wire hanger. Topped it off with a pretty red tartan bow(for you Alison) . I think they came out pretty darn cute if I do say so myself..pardon my boasting.

I have recently become addicted to felted acorns. I don't know what it is about them..they are just so darn adorable. If you read my river walkway post, you might remember at the end I mentioned sitting in the car knitting while I waited for my hubby to buy some fishing gear. Well these are the little acorns I scavenged from beneath the parking lot oak trees. I have never felted acorns before and it was so much fun. I will be selling these little gems also (I made quite a few). On half I put some snow and glass glitter and some I left plain. They will look beautiful on a quaint rustic tree this year...definitely will have some on my bird tree. Ok that's all for now...back to the studio, still lot's to finish. Until next kind and stay creative.

Friday, November 6, 2009


Hello friends, I have been felting, sewing and refashioning at lightning speed lately. I have been in my studio early and turning off the light late into the evening, with lot's of coffee in between.  If I have been absent from blogs and Twitter...that's why. Trying to have lot's of great lovelies to offer my customers in my Etsy shop and my NY holiday show. I thought I would give you guys a little preview. Enjoy!

I love this new line of Prairie aprons. I like to think of them as Little House on the Prairie meets Shabby Chic. They are all fashioned from my Salvation Macy's finds. Lot's of upcycled Gap skirts, pillow cases, table runners, yo-yo's and of course some vintage doilies.

I've added an attached hand towel for drying or wiping your hands. Also left some edges raw to add to the shabby chic style.

I really love this apron. The gorgeous antique doily and the little circular cotton doily with it's dainty embroidery is divine. I think these aprons are a great addition to my apron line. I am hoping others agree enough to want to take them home ;-)

I have also been knee deep in wool and cashmere felting. This darling cardigan is fashioned from an adult wool turtleneck sweater. After felting it I turned it into a button down sweater and embellished it with felted sweater pieces and lot's of buttons. The design is on the back also. I think it would be so cute on a young girl with maybe some black leggings and a yellow turtleneck.
Well that's it for now...have to get back to my studio. So much still to do. I think I am going to reward my hubby with some delicious fish tacos for dinner as he has been very understanding about all the reheated leftovers I have been calling dinner lately...sorry Metz!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

I Did the Hudson River Walkway!

While in New York, my hubby and I got up very early one morning and went to check out the new walking trail that spans the beautiful Hudson River. In my home town of Poughkeepsie, NY, we had a very old abandoned Rail bridge that took trains from P-town to Highland, NY. It has been neglected for as long as I can remember, since about 1974. In the early 90's plans were put in motion to refurbish the historic bridge and open it as a pedestrian walkway. It was finally completed and had it's grand opening on Oct 3rd. My family has been posting so many fabulous photos on their Facebook pages, I knew I had to experience it for myself. I wish I had done it a week or two earlier as most of the gorgeous leaf color was just past it's peak. The tall golden oaks were still intact and very beautiful.

The tree lined entrance to the walkway..very pretty and inviting.

Looking over the edge before we got over the river. Had to capture the golden carpet below.

Once over the Hudson River the views started getting really nice. I snapped this southbound train speeding down the track. Who doesn't love trains?

I am facinated with the little yellow house just below the the bridge...can you see it? Just past the two white houses.

There is that yellow house again...too cute.

Here is a good view of the walkway and I think you get a good idea of just how wide it is...30ft at least. I believe it is the worlds largest pedestrian cool is that. Right there in P-town!

Over closer to the Highland, NY side sits this beauty of a home...what a view they have. I love all the gold in the trees.

While were about in the middle of the river, this fabulous newly painted ship floated down the river going north. Everyone ran to the edge to watch it come closer and then pass beneath us. Once it was under us we all ran to the other side. At that moment, I had a funny thought..why did we all frantically run to the other side...did we think it would not come out the other side???? I verbalized my thoughts and everyone cracked up and felt a little silly. I guess that was the child in us, since that is exactly what my boys would have done when they were young. We all thouoght this ship looked like it was made of Legos.

This is one of my favorite shots. The bright white of the church steeple, the Mid-Hudson Bridge in the background and the autumnal colors all make for a nice captured moment.

This photo is for my sister Maddy. She is terrified of bridges, but worked up the nerve to walk the walkway. She was very proud of herself. I wonder if she noticed these nylon ties all the length of the bridge. Do you think these are keeping everything together??????
Ok that's all my river photos. I hope you enjoyed walking across the Hudson River with me. If you are ever in the Poughkeepsie area, be sure to take in the beauty of this new and free state park.

I'll leave you with one last photo..on the way home we stopped at Cabelas, the sporting goods Megastore. While waiting in the car (knitting,of course) I spotted this beautiful site. Something about the blue sky, wonderful cotton ball clouds and the flags waving, just made me smile. I hope they put a smile on your face too. One more thing...while waiting, I spotted oak trees in the parking lot. I collected a big bag of acorn tops...I smell felted acorns!!!!!! That's another post ;-)
Until next time, be kind and stay creative.

Monday, November 2, 2009

New Shop Photos

Good evening is 11:04 pm and I just got home from a quick trip to New York. I took many of my listings in my Etsy shop home for my niece to model. I am trying to improve my photography. I think my new photos came out great. Kelly is such a natural at the modeling thing, I hardly have to give her any direction at all. She makes it all look so easy. Her mom Cecelia is the photographer and she too is very good with a camera. Here are a few of the pic's from our 'session'. Enjoy!

So what do you think...does she do my creations justice?? I think so..I love my new photos. Until next time, be kind and stay creative.