Friday, December 31, 2010

Ending the year with Etsy Boot Camp - Week 8

Today I decided to finish up the year with blocking my recent crochet & tatting. I'm planning on taking pictures tomorrow so I can start off the new year with some new items!

I also wanted to get back to working on the Etsy Boot Camp activities and finish them up....so one of my New Year's Resolutions is to spend a little time working on this each day until it's done. Today I started where I left off with Week 7.

I was too busy at the time with the holiday rush to do the Boot Camp activities, but now I'm trying to catch up. Some of these things no longer apply because they are geared for the holidays which have just past, but I'm going to go through them anyway and try to pick up what useful information I can. So here's my check list for Week 7:

[ X ] Read this week's blog post (very valuable links to info on upcoming themes!)
[ X ] Plan for Cyber Monday
[ X ] Get Back on Track Here
[ ] Post in Week 8's forum thread (not going to do this one because I'm so out of date
[ X ] Add a Badge to Your Blog

Thanks it for now...back to working on my website update. Tomorrow is picture taking day (if the light is right). Have a great New Years Day!

Monday, December 27, 2010

A Dickens Christmas Treasury

I just found out that one of my tatted bookmarks is featured in an Etsy treasury - a Dickens Christmas.  I"m so thrilled...this is the first time that I know of that my tatting has been in a treasury!

Here's the link to it - A Dickens Christmas

Friday, December 24, 2010

Happy Holidays 2010 !

The last few days I've been trying to get finished up on projects I had going.  I finished a few of them but haven't blocked them or taken photos yet, so they will be coming after Christmas.  Plus I had an idea for an adaptation of another person's design and I've been dabbling around with that, but so far haven't worked it all out yet.

My daughter baked some holiday cookies the other day.  They are delicious!  And tonight I will sit and watch It's a Wonderful Life.  I just wanted to take a quick moment out to wish you all


May the Magic of the Holidays be with You and Yours!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Tatting Thread Inventory

Have I mentioned I love Lizbeth threads?  Well I do.  I don't have very many of them yet, but I want more and more.  I was looking at the ones I have the other day trying to decide which one I wanted to work with next and it struck me that it would be really nice to have some sort of list so I'd know which ones I have and which ones I don't...that way when I get more I won't accidentally get duplicates, or to know when I run out of a particular color, etc. Sooooo.....

Yesterday I spent some time making up a spreadsheet to inventory my tatting threads!  I have a page for DMC, a page for Lizbeth, a page for HDT (Hand Dyed Threads) and a page for Other.  On each page I have a place to check which size thread I have, the thread number, name, color and in the case of Lizbeth threads, which threads they coordinate with.

Once I got the spread sheet set up I inventoried my tatting threads and already the effort has proved beneficial.  I've been admiring a particular HDT in the maker's Etsy store and wanting to try it out.  Well, during my inventory I discovered that I already had that colorway from them!

LOL now let's hope I can keep it updated!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Snowflakes - Motifs 8 & 9

Yep, it's me again.  This daily posting thing is getting to be a habit lol.

A week or so ago I saw a pretty little snowflake and just had to try it.  I love the design, it's Miranda's Angels in the Snow, which is sold at a minimal cost to help raise funds for a very worthy cause.  Even though I love the design and it is called 'angels', for me it was a devil of a time to get it done.  It took me a bit of practicing to get the self closing mock ring (SCMR) down, but my biggest problem was that I always worked on this late at night when I was tired.  I would miscount and have to undo and redo, doing that caused me to un out of thread so I had multiple ends (where I had to cut and start again).

I had a picture in my head of some new threads done in this design so I used them but it didn't come out looking like what I'd imagined...not sure why, it just didn't.  All in all, frustration mounted and tired eyes/brain malfunctioned to the point of calling this the 'motif from hell'.  When I was done I didn't want to even look at it anymore...so I set it aside for about a week before taking pictures.  Now I'm ok with it and still want to make more in this design.  I'm still not to sure about the color combo that I used (which I thought would look good together, but seeing it now I'm not so sure).  So here it is....

Motif # 8:


On a brighter note a friend told me about a snowflake design by Samantha Melnychuk with butterflies in it.  I tried it and it worked up really quickly and came out very nice.  I must have done something right because when I showed this one to my daughter she said "It looks like a snowflake"...she didn't notice the butterflies till I pointed them out to her though.

Motif # 9:


I'm not sure what I'll try for my next motif but I'll figure out something soon.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

25 Motif Challenge - Number 7 - The Learning Process

Sometimes even mistakes work out ok.  I wanted to try something different from what I'd been doing and to try something new.  So I pulled out my copy of Jon Yusoff's Tatting with Rings and started on the first design, named Melati.  The first mistake I made (but didn't notice until MUCH later) was that the center design calls for 6 rings.  I had done only 5.  And since I'd already decided to turn this into a pair of earrings, I did it (the mistake without noticing it was a mistake) a second time!

Then I set the two little centers aside and pulled out some beads.  Faithfully counting twice since these were going to be earrings I put 50 beads on the thread (2 extras in case I'd miscounted).  This sounds easy enough but it was a struggle for me because only about 1 out of 4 beads would let the needle pass through it so I really ended up having to go through about 200 or so beads just to get those 50.  Whew, beads on the thread. 

Next I started learning how to do the wrap stitch.  I followed the directions and diagrams carefully and no matter what I did...it didn't work right.  The directions and diagrams were right, it was ME that wasn't working right.  I kept trying over and over and fiddled with it this way and that.  I could see in the diagrams how it was supposed to be, but the threads in my hands just didn't want to cooperate.  Finally something clicked...somehow the 'on' switch to my brain was flipped in the right position.  I got the first wrap stitch done!  YAY!  More fiddling, more checking the diagram, and I finally got a 2nd one done...I was on a roll lol!  I managed to get the first four of them done and by then I could see what I needed to do with my hands to make it work.

Time to add a ring...I know how to do those!  I was so happy I was grinning from ear to ear...I knew how to do the next part!  Hurray!  Oh wait we have to add the little center motif...no biggie, I can do that....done, ring done, more wrap stitches.  I was really on a roll now...another ring, yay....don't forget to attach to the center...got it...ring done...more wraps....wait a moment...something was wrong.  I looked at it again and checked it against the diagram.  Crud!  I'm not supposed to attach to the center motif at EVERY ring, only the bigger ones!  Sigh...get scissors, snip snip...Let's start over.....

So starting again, I did the wraps (got them down by now!), the little ring with a bead, more wraps, next little ring, more wraps, big ring with beads (I did get nice tight tripple beads on the top picot if I do say so myself).  More wra....wait...that first bead doesn't sit right...it's on one side of the ring not between the two rings.  What did I do wrong?  OHHH I see I put the bead on the wrong part of the thread when working the ring.  I can easily do that right going forward...but how do I fixt that first one...sigh...snip snip...

Let's start over (AGAIN!)...take deep breath....I've got the pattern memorized by this point - who needs a diagram?  This go round it works great!  Wraps are done, rings and beads in right places.  Crud, ran out of thread, slide beads off the tail of the thread, wind shuttle, put beads back on the thread...start in again.  Joins to center motif in right places, I've got this!  First one completed and looking good.  Start up the 2nd one.  Going just as well, got 4 sections completed, only one to go....glance at the diagram.  @#*%!  These are supposed to have the ** 6 ** ring center motif, not the 5 ring one....only one section to go on the 2nd one ...I'm NOT going to start these all over again.  The first one looked fine with only 5 points to it....so I made the 2nd one with only 5 points as well. 

A matching pair!  They are technically wrong because they have 5 points instead of 6, but they are done.  I added the earring findings (yes one of the wires broke while doing that so I had to get another one).  Done!  Finished!  Complete!....need pictures.....pull out camera and this is what I ended up with.  All in all considering how the learning session went I think they came out well, don't you?

Motif 7:


It was a long crazy learning session, but I learned and won't forget how to do those wraps.  I learned to be careful where I put the beads so they end up in the right place.  I learned to double check the design...and I learned to COUNT the repeats/sections!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

I Love Needlework!

Today I while I was sitting and working on a little project a thought crossed my mind.  I love needlework.  I started out at the age of 7 learning to crochet, taught by my grandmother before she went senile and forgot how.  My mother taught me knitting, and crewel embroidery.  And her mother encouraged me to try other types of needlework, including bargello and cross stitch.

All my life my spare time has been retreating to some form of needlework.  Learning new things and techniques, practicing and fine tuning what I have learned until I'm personally satisfied with the quality of what I do.  Whenever I've been upset by turmoil in my life I've always been able to retreat into a realm of peace by sitting and stitching, and forgetting the rest of the world's troubles.

I've learned and done other things, other crafts, and I always come back to needlework in some form or another.  Throughout the years I've had people buying the items I made, or I made gifts for others that they could treasure and hand down as heirlooms to their families.  When I was layed off from my job a few years back I was able to turn to my needlework and not only find solice but an outlet for my inner need to create, as well as to turn it into a business to help meet expenses.

I can work with fine sewing thread or big bulky yarn...it doesn't matter, as long as I'm working on needlework.  I can make a little 2 inch bear or a 4x6 foot afghan....either way I am content on the inside because I'm creating with some form of needle and thread.

I LOVE NEEDLEWORK....it finally dawned on me in that moment of thought earlier today, that I really do love it!  It's not something to fill my time, it's not a hobby, it's not a phase nor a passing fad...it's something I love to do!  It's part of who I am....and I'm blessed to have been taught at such an early age so I could enjoy this love all my life.

Thank you Grandma Robinson, Thank you Mom, Thank you Grandma Mary and all the others throughout my life that have helped me learn and enjoy my passion.

To everyone else...share what you know, teach someone a skill, help someone learn....it just might turn out to be the passion of their life!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Motif Challenge - Number 5 & 6

I saw this design a while back and have wanted to try it, but never seemed to find the time.  Now that I have some dark green thread (thanks to that shipping error)...well the time was right for it last night.  So I made a Christmas Tree  then turned it into a bookmark!

The tree design is the Tatted Christmas Tree by Be-Stitched.  I added a tassel to the bottom of the 'trunk' to make it into a bookmark.  This is a very easy 1 shuttle design and works up quickly.  It would be good for a beginning tatter.

Motif # 5:

I've also been wanting to test out some of the patterns from Jon Yusoff's Tatted Snowflakes Collection.  I decided to do them in the order of their listing in the book.  First is Alladin.

Motif # 6:

I'm looking forward to working on the next one!  Tatting is so much fun once you get the basics of it down!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Dead Computer



Two days ago my computer hard drive died a quick but inglorious death. One moment it was working, I glanced away from the monitor, and when I looked back I had the infamous 'blue screen of death'. The hard drive was to be no more.

I keep most of my files on an external hard drive so I didn't really lose alot of information. I still have all my pattern and business files for example. However, my email was on the main (now dead) harddrive so I lost all my emails that I'd saved and all the sites that I'd added to my favorites list etc.

My daughter came to my rescue with her laptop. We were able to quickly search online and found a really good deal for a new computer (smile). She went and picked it up for me yesterday and ever since I've been in the process of getting things set back up. My email is working correctly and I'm back online again. YAY!

It's great having a new computer, even though it was an unexpected and unplanned for expense. Please be patient with me while I relocate all my favorite sites.

On the creative front, I've finished a new doily and need to block it, and I completed another Lacey White Bookmark like in my previous post. I'm working on another bookmark and hope to spend the rest of my evening tonight working on it.

Off to go find some of my favorite blogs again....

Thursday, December 9, 2010

25 Motif Challenge

I've decided to participate in the Tatting 25 Motif Challenge as a goal to encourage myself to do more tatting in 2011. The bookmarks I posted about are my start for this.

To keep track of them, I need to number them. So I've edited my previous post to add Motif #s. I don't think I'll have any problem getting to 25, but I want to be sure. I also don't believe the same design should count more than once so for me it's a 25 Different Motif Challenge!

I've already lined up a few designs that I want to work on next. They will have to wait until I've done another Lacey Tatted Bookmark in White (Motif # 3) though because the one I showed below has sold and I want to make a replacement for it for my website and Etsy shop.

Off to do a bit more tatting before I head to bed....

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Singing Songs of Christmas!

I heard the holiday song "Santa Baby" the other day and it inspired me to create a new little bear.


I also found an interesting American Sign Language You Tube of this song that I thought I'd share too:

Special Request

My daughter recently came to me telling me that she had a friend in the Army Reserves who was called to service in Afghanistan and she wanted to give him something special.  So we put our heads together and she helped me design this new little bear.  The bear wears the name of her friend and this is a surprise present for him so if any one seeing this knows him please do not tell him about it.  He will be receiving it when he comes home on leave at the end of December.  Allow me to introduce you to a very special bear, Sgt. Brandon Jones:


Good luck and Safe Journey as you serve our country in foriegn lands.

Tatting Frenzy

I recently ordered some Lizbeth threads and when they arrived I was inspired to do some tatting right away.  In fact I went into what you could say is a 'tatting frenzy'.  I love these threads and how well they work up.  Once I got started I couldn't seem to stop.  I think I made 8 bookmarks and a new motif.  Below are a few example pictures of some of the bookmarks.  The motif I loved but had alot of problems and ended up renaming it 'the motif from hell'....so I haven't taken any pictures of it yet...maybe I will some day.  I finished it and it looks great....I just don't care to look at it right now...lol.

When my new threads were ordered I was accidentally shipped the wrong order. I was told to keep the one ball of thread and book (which turned out to be a tatting book with several designs in it I like!). The thread was a dark green and went perfectly with a deep red that I had ordered on my order. I got bold and pulled out some beads too....here is my very first tatted bookmark with beads. The pattern is called Stumpy and was designed by Kersti Anear.

Motif # 1:


The next one is one I did is a braid design by Jane Eborall.  I think the varigated Lizbeth thread works up great with this design.  I did it in several colors but here are a few examples:

Motif # 2:





I also had a couple on hand that I hadn't taken pictures of.  I made them a while back and don't remember where I found the designs.

Motif # 3:


Motif # 4:


I will be doing more tatting in the future.  I've decided to sign up for the 25 Motif Challenge for 2011.  I'm looking forward to working on things for it.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Is it Frostie Outside?

When I shared pictures of Barnaby I said he was the 1st of 2. As most of you know I'm a pattern collector. I buy them all the time, but don't always make them up. This time I followed a pattern by one of the Thread Artist Guild (R) members, Stefanie Devlin, but as usual for me I made some small changes as well.

I didn't feel like messing with a bunch of beads on the hat so I just made a ruffly brim and added a bow. I took the same thread as I used for the hat and made up a soft winter scarf to go with it. The bear is made from punch thread and is a very pale cream color.

My daughter walked in the room just as I put the finishing touches on her and with one quick glance decided her name was Frostie.



I also added a picture of her next to my hand for size reference.  Sometimes people don't really understand how small these little bears are!

Speaking of threads....the thread I got in the order that was shipped to me by mistake....it went perfectly with one that I had ordered (my order arrived the next day).  These are size 20 tatting threads (I got some size 80 as well).  I've been on a tatting frenzy the past few days and have made up several bookmarks....one using the freebie thread which came out GREAT!  As soon as they all finish blocking I'll get some pictures and share them.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Surprise in the Mail

I got a very nice surprise in the mail yesterday. I had placed an order for some threads from Handy Hands but they shipped the wrong box. They told me to keep it, that they would resend to the other person and that a box with my corrected order was sent out the next day (it should arrive on Monday). So I got some new thread in a different color than any I had and a book on tatting with some patterns that I'd like to try. Yay me !!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Holiday Rush

My the time is flying by!  I'm hurrying around trying to get bears finished and for sale, make new ones, working on special orders, starting my holiday shopping, hiding what I buy so my daughter won't see it, getting more supplies, etc. etc. etc.  I feel like I'm spinning in a thousand different directions during the day...but in the evenings when I settle in to just work on the next creation it all calms down for a little while and feels like all is right in my world...that's a good feeling.

A few days ago I finished up a couple of new bears.  One, Barnaby is already out for sale, the other I have pictures done but haven't posted her anywhere yet.

Here's little Barnaby.  I tried a new style for the head.  My daughter and I both like it quite alot so I will be making a few more in this style I'm sure!


More pictures of him can be seen by clicking HERE.

I'm still running a bit behind on my Boot Camp activities.  I haven't found the time this week (due to all of the above) to spend any time on it.  I'm hoping to catch up this coming week because Week 8 To Do list has already come out.  I really want to complete all of the Boot Camp stuff because it's all been very informative and helpful!

That's it for now.  I will be back in a few days with another update!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Etsy Holiday Boot Camp - Week 7

Has it really been this many weeks already? Wow! The time not only seems to fly by but I'm learning so much that I don't even notice when one week moves into the next one.

This week is all about Blogging and Marketing Plans. Just by going through some of the reading material I already can see ways I can make my blog a bit more interesting and more informative. And I'm getting tips for using social marketing tools better as well. I haven't done the 'reach out' part yet. That one is going to take some background reading and research so will take a bit of time.

I'm about to start on the Marketing Plan section. This is something I know I need to do, so I'm sure this part of the "homework" will be very interesting!

This Week's Checklist:

[ X ] Read this week's blog post
[ X ] Develop a marketing plan
[    ] Reach out to a blogger
[ X ] Post in Week 7's forum thread

As always I will be updating this checklist and adding my comments as I complete the activities.

Edited to show some progress made.  I fnished the Marketing Plan exercise.  Now I need to do some researching and find a blogger to 'reach out to'.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

It's Getting Cold Outside!


~ Chelsea ~

A OOAK Micro Miniature Thread Crochet Bear standing at 2 inches tall !
by Mary Robinson of Peachtree Cottage

It's turning cold in my part of the world and little Chelsea can't wait for it to snow so she can go out and build a snowman! Chelsea stands at barely 2 inches tall and is crocheted from acrylic threads. She comes wearing a removable white hoodie which is accented with tiny little pink beads. Her facial expression has been embroidered and slightly shaded to give it extra depth. Her name is Chelsea (pronounced "Ch-L-see) which means 'snow bunny' in beareze. She will arrive in a clear display box with a signed picture Certificate of Authenticity.

Chelsea is available in my Etsy Shop - http://www.etsy.com/listing/60669093

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Holiday Boot Camp - Week 6

Hellooooo out there!

First off let me say I'm starting to see some results from the efforts made with the Boot Camp Exercises.  Not only am I learning and trying to put into practice what I learn, but I've also picked up more followers on my blogspot.  In addition to that my website views have increased and I have pending orders that I'm working on.  Yay for the Boot Camp !

This weeks homework sounds simple but it's really not.  The reading was mostly about frame of mind/attitude which can get really 'deep' sometimes.  The pricing exercise will be valuable to alot of people, but for me it confirmed that the method I use for my pricing is appropriate.  Each pricing exercise I did was right in line with what my current prices are :-)

Here's my checklist:

[ X ] Revisit Your Prices
[ X ] Check out this Reading List
[ X ] Connect with Your Buddy

I'm hoping this kind of  "Boot Camp' activity will continue in one form or another after the holidays.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

New Pictures

Part of my Etsy Boot Camp Week 5 homework was tips on photography.  Here's some pictures I took today of my tissue covers that I made for a customer.  I think the pictures came out better than my old ones.  Those photo tips were very helpful.



Friday, October 22, 2010

Etsy Boot Camp - Week 5

I'm so excited about everything I'm learning via the Etsy Holiday Boot Camp!  This week I got in the email with the weekly activities and started in on them right away.  The focus of this week is photography.  Some of the information shared I already knew and some was new to me.  I have ideas now that I want to try with my next set of photos...which I hope will be in the next day or so. 

Here's my status:

Etsy Holiday Boot Camp - Week 5:

[ X ] Check out 7 Lessons from Adam Braun
[ X ] Read Etsy's Guide to Photography
[ X ] Shoot Photos of Your New Work
[ X ] Check in with your Boot Camp Buddy
[ X ] Post in the Boot Camp Forum

The activity for the 7 Lessons from Adam Braun was to watch a presentation video.  I have to admit that I found him dry and dull as a speaker which left me uninspired.  However his 7 Lessons have value.  This is what they are:


All I need now is to have a photo session and I'll have my 'homework' for this  week done already!  Yay!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Bethany

I had a wonderful surprise happen to me over the weekend. As some of you know I'm participating in the Etsy Boot Camp activities and one of them is to work with a Boot Camp Buddy. Well my buddy is writing a blog article for Etsy and she wanted to put a link in it to one of my bears. So I quickly finished up little Bethany in time for her blog article.

Bethany stands at only 2.25 inches tall and is crocheted from acrylic threads. She comes wearing a removable pink and white dress which is accented with tiny little pearl beads and a little bow with 3 tiny pearl beads by her ear.

Bethany - Available in my Etsy Shop! - http://www.etsy.com/listing/59282323

Etsy Boot Camp - Week 4

There's lots of reading with this week's Etsy Boot Camp activities. I'm busy reading up and working on my Etsy "Homework"

This week's 'Homework" is to:

[X} Read this week's Boot Camp Article
[X] Etsy Sucess Keyword Exercise
[X] Update Your Profile
[X] Check in with your Boot Camp Buddy
[X] Post in the Boot Camp forum thread
[X] Extra Credit! Tips for Authentic Writing

Keywords are important so doing the Keyword Exercise will definitely be a helpful activity. Plus I've been needing to update my Profile....so I'm thinking this will be a good week of activities for me!

My keywords:

Buyer Attributes
collector
classy
homemaker
upscale
values time
parent

Style
miniature
sweet
pretty
cute
ooak
unique

Artistic Values
unique
quality
master artist
artistic
long lasting
creative

Monday, October 11, 2010

Etsy Boot Camp - Week 3

Time to check in with my Boot Camp homework!  hehe...here's Week 3's checklist.  Notice it's all completed!

Etsy Boot Camp - Week 3 Checklist

[X] Read this week's Boot Camp article

[X] Fill in the Blank Exercise

[X] Six Success Secrets Exercise

- [X} Be Me - I already am me. I'm a quiet work in the background, don't make alot of noise, but get it done type. I'm not a corporate type. So, I work from home, making things quietly, working on things each day...and I'm content with what I do and who I am :-)

- [X} Trust Your Compass - I try to do this especially when I'm creating my little bears. I know that my mood shows up on their faces when I stitch them...so I check my internal compass and make sure I'm heading in the right (positive) direction before I start stitching a bear face. No frustrated, angry, sad, upset bears from me!

- [X} Embrace the Optimist - Sometimes I get overwhelmed by the day to day stresses, but I learrned a few years back that I just need to set the 'stress' feelings aside and just 'know' in my heart that everything will work out fine. I believe in the power of the Law of Attraction so I put out positive thoughts ... and good things happen.

- [X} Surround Yourself With Love - This is a tougher one for me. Because of my 'Be Me' I tend to close myself off and am not around alot of people. But I do have my daughter's support in what I do and she also believes in embracing the optimist/Law of Attraction outlook. I also connect with other supportive bear artists and did so by creating the Thread Artist Guild to give us all a place to grow, communicate and support each other.

- [X] Know What You Need and Get It - For me that's mainly getting the money each month to pay the bills, and somewhere down the road getting a newer car. Every time I make something and sell it I am progressing towards these goals. I also need peace and stability in my life....what I tend to call Calm Happiness. Being "OK" with me and content with who I am and what I'm doing helps me with that goal too.

- [X] Enjoy Where You Are - I know this might sound silly to some but a few years ago I read 2 books that changed my life. The first was "Conversations with God"...now I'm not saying I agree with everything in that book but it did help me to open up my eyes and look at things from different perspectives and to really appreciate who I was and what I had. The second was "The Secret"...which taught me about the Law of Attraction and how powerful it can be, as well as reinforcing the gratitude for what I already have. Putting all that together allows me to allow myself to be content. I can enjoy my day to day life taking each day at a time without all the stress and worry for the next day or the day after that. I spend a moment each day being grateful for THAT day, for the things I was able to do that day, for just being alive that day....well I think you get the drift.....Do I want more out of life...sure, everyone does, that's natural, but I'm "OK" with where I am and that feels good too.

[X] Check in with your Boot Camp Buddy

[X] Get a Head Start on Your Holiday Stock - Already have some items made that I need to take pictures of and working on new items as well.

[X] Post in the Boot Camp forum thread - I posted my Fill in the Blank Exercise there and made a positive affirmation post on the Facebook Boot Camp Fan Page.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Jynx is going Trick or Treating for Halloween

Allow me to introduce you to my newest little bear.... Jynx


~ Jynx ~
5-Way Jointed and only 2 Inches Tall Standing !
(not counting the hat)
A Peachtree Cottage™ Micro Miniature Bear
by Mary Robinson - Peachtree Cottage ™ Bears

This year Jynx decided to dress up and go Trick or Treating for Halloween. Watch out for her though, she loves to pop up out of nowhere and hollar "BOO!" while waving her billowy arms costumed arms. Her name is Jynx(pronounced "Geenks") which means 'Trick or Treat' in beareze.

Jynx stands at only 2 inches tall which makes her a micro miniature bear. She is crocheted from acrylic threads and comes with her removable hat and Trick or Treat bag. Her facial expression has been embroidered and slightly shadded to give it extra depth. She will arrive in a clear display box with a signed picture certificate of authenticity.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Week Two of the Etsy Success Holiday Boot Camp

Well, it's Week Two and now I have more homework to do.  The checklist of things to do this week is as follows:

[X] Read this week's Holiday Boot Camp article

[X] Make a list of your most popular items

[X] Brainstorm new work you'll offer this season

[X] Find your Boot Camp buddy

[X] Post in the Boot Camp forum

As you can see all of these have been done except for finding a Boot Camp Buddy. I've posted on the Boot Camp Facebook site so hopefully I will get a response to that soon. If all else fails I'll buddy up to my daughter for this but it would be nice to get outside input going forward.

My newest creation is done, just finished up the accessories today and plan to take pictures tomorrow so ... watch this space! lol

UPDATE:  I got me a Boot Camp Buddy! It's Mary Catherine from Hide A Heart.  Check out her Etsy Shop! http://www.etsy.com/shop/HideaHeart  She makes beautiful glass hearts!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Look What's Hiding in the Halloween Candy!


It's little Cornelious (pronounced "cor-Kneel-e-us") which means "candy corn" in beareze.

Cornelious is stitched from fine acrylic threads and made with hundreds of tiny stitches. His eyes are onyx beads and have shading to give him expression and added depth.

I listed him in my Etsy shop ( http://peachtreecottage.etsy.com/ ) and before I knew it he SOLD! He will be heading out to his new home in Australia tomorrow.

Thanks to my daughter, Jennifer of Bubble Bee Creations ( http://bubblebeecreations.etsy.com/ ) for her suggestion I make a bear like this!

Monday, September 27, 2010

I Took The Pledge

I admit it.  This summer I had a tendancy to slack off and not make too many things.  I was a bit burned out and needed a break.  But I'm back in action now and to get myself going again I have taken the pledge:

Etsy Holiday Boot Camp Pledge: I, Mary Robinson of Peachtree Cottage, pledge to participate in the Etsy Success Holiday Boot Camp to the best of my abilities. I vow to check in every week, do my homework and support my fellow Holiday Boot Campers. I will read the weekly newsletters and blog posts, check in on the weekly forum thread, read the weekly blog post, check off the checklists and salute the mascot. I promise to share what I've learned with those who need it, support my fellow Etsy indiepreneurs and, most of all, have a positive and persistent attitude. I understand that together we can spread the word about our handmade and vintage goods, making this holiday season a more unique and meaningful one to gift givers and give-ees everywhere.

In addition to the pledge one of the weekly assignements is to create a holiday mission statement.  I might adjust it later but this is what I have for now:

Mission Statement:
To use my skills and knowledge to make creative, quality made artist collectable miniature teddy bears. Also to create beautiful as well as functional items for home, babies, doll enthusiasts, etc. which will enhance their lives and bring a smile to their faces at affordable prices.

In support of this mission statement, this holiday season I will:

- create holiday specific items

- add new items to my Etsy shop

- promote awareness of Artist Collectable Teddy Bears

- participate in the Etsy Success Holiday Boot Camp

- have at least one 'special' or 'on sale' item in my Etsy shop at all times through the holidays

I will try to keep posting here about the activities involved and what I'm doing. It seems like it will be fun (even though it's also technically 'work').

Friday, June 4, 2010

1895 Country Fair Outfit


I have competed a special order for a customer of a 1895 Style Lace and Angels Country Fair Outfit. This outfit has 10 panels in the skirt, each with 4 sections, 2 of lace and 2 of crochet, a crochet and lace bodice, and a lace and ribbon embellished Bolero jacket and coordinating hat. There are 44 tiny crocheted roses in the complete outfit.

Whew...this was a lot of work, much more than I had originally anticipated but I think it came out wonderfully and I'm very proud of it.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Gerry, a Baby Giraffe

Gerry, a Baby Giraffe

What's the earliest memory you have? My earliest memory is from when I was about 4 years old. My parents took me on a trip to the zoo. There's really only one thing that I remember about that day but the memory is so ingrained that over 50 years later I can see it as crystal clear as if it were yesterday. When we visited the giraffe area there was a brand new baby giraffe. It was SOOO cute. My dad put me on his shoulders and walked right up to the fence...and the baby giraffe came over to the fence too. Because of being on my dad's shoulders I was able to look the baby giraffe right in the eye, face to face. I put out my hand to the fence and the baby giraffe stuck his(or her) nose up and touched my hand. Then it gave me a lick. Hehe it tickled....and btw did you know giraffe's have dark gray/black tongues?

That's my memory and my little Gerry is in honor of that little baby giraffe.  Gerry was made for a "Day at the Zoo" challenge by the Thread Artist Guild (R)

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Slip Sliding Away!

My My My where does the time go?  Seems like only yesterday that I finished making little Pammy.

I'm still working on the doll dress in my previous post.  Had some problems with the panels on the skirt.  There's 4 sections to each panel and 10 panels that fit together to make the skirt.  Some of the sections didn't fit together right so I ended up having to remake a few of the parts.  That's all worked out nicely now and I'm half way done putting the panels parts together.  Then I can stitch the panels together than add the 30 roses I've already made (whew that's alot of roses).  After that it's just making the adjustments to fit the waist and attach the lining and the skirt will be done.  All the rest of the parts are made so once the skirt is finished it's just assembly, fitting, and accessorizing to have the whole outfit completed.

As soon as I can I also need to make a miniature animal that could be seen at a "Day at the Zoo" for a challenge by the Thread Artist Guild (R).  I'm looking forward to this one :-)

I'm itching to make some more sewn bears too so expect more of those in the future.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Pammy, the Baby Panda



Pammy is the newest addition to Peachtree Cottage.  She's a little baby panda with adorable pink accents.   She just barely measures 2.0 inches tall when standing which makes her a micro mini.  Her name is Pammy (prounounced "Pam-ee") which means "sweetness" in Pandese.

I really enjoyed making her and might even make her a little brother or sister.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Updated Happenings

The April 2010 issue of Mini Teddy Hugs is now completed and available for viewing.  There are some cute new creations, a wonderful article, fun videos and much much more there for your enjoyment!

I've also sold another little one (Tacoa) and she's off to live in Australia....It's half way around the world and a long trip but she's on her way there now.


I've also been commissioned to create a vintage style Barbie size outfit.  These are so much fun to work on.  I've been to the store and gotten all the needed supplies.  Now I'm happily stitching away on it.  Here's a picture from the pattern of what it will look like.



The lace I'm using is a bit different so when mine is done it will be special in it's own right.  I'll post a picture of it when it's all done!

That's it for now...I'm off to stitch!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Chester the Jester

A customer wanted a little bear like my Quinn (the Harlequin bear I did for the Thread Artist Guild Masquerade Challenge) but he wanted it sewn instead of crocheted.....so....

Thus was born Chester the Jester



He's a traditionally sewn bear, only 3.75 inches tall standing and 2.75 inches sitting.  He's made from back and white cashmere synthetic fur with tan for his head.  His body has the traditional diamond pattern design that harlequins wear.  He also has a jester hat, mask, and septre.

This is what Chester looks like under his mask



I'm very very happy with how Chester turned out and hope my customer is just as pleased.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Whoo Hoo It Worked!

I'm so happy!  My experiment worked out and my little special order bear is one of the best sewn ones I think I've done.  Now I just have to make his accessories....ugh, my hands hurt already from conditioning clay, but in the end it will be worth it!

Watch this space for pictures soon!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

How do I do this?

A customer ordered a special little bear that I'm delighted to make for him.  However he wants it sewn instead of crochet.  No problem I thought....and the majority of it will be no problem, however, I will be having to design something new that I've not done in sewn before to complete one part of it.  I love a challenge so off I went, ordered in some supplies and now that they have arrived I'm starting on this special little bear.

So ... how do I do this?  I keep thinking of various different ways to attempt the one difficult area.  I've come up with several ideas and had one in particular that I was sure would work.  So I tested it on a piece of scrap material...and....ugh...it didn't work at all.  The fabric is synthetic not real fur and my idea involved shaving down some of the fur for parts of it.  When I attempted this with a little electric razor tool I had previously bought for just this kind of thing....it *burned* the fabric.  Well it didn't really burn it, more it melted it......so that idea is a no go.

Now I'm trying to come up with other alternative ways to accomplish the same technique.  Next I will attempt to cut back the fur by hand in the desired areas.  I will try a few different ways to do this to see if any work well, but as last resort I will trim down each bit of fur with sharp little scissors if I need to.  If all this doesn't work then I will attempt sewing together bits of different fur to see if that will accomplish the look I'm trying for.

Luckily my customer is aware that I'm having to experiment some and is being patient.  I'm working on all the other parts of the bear so when I get this one area done I will then be able to quickly complete it for him.  As I said I love a challenge and really am delighted to be trying all this and hope it works out well.  If it does I will be doing it again :-)

I know I know...all this *mystery* without saying exactly what it is I'm attempting to do.  But I want the result to be a surprise.  When it's all finished I will be posting a picture here.  Til then I'm a bit occupied with "how do I do this"...lol

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Flitter & Flutter

If you listen you can almost hear the flitter and flutter of little fairy bunny wings.



Flitter & Flutter are little fairy bunnies which were commissioned by a customer and are what I've been working on lately.  While the bunnies themselves are not all that difficult for me to make (since I love making bunnies), the wings however were a trial.  The tiny thread (size 12 Finca) and hook (size 14) and the color changes were hard on my eyes and I could only work on them for short periods of time at a setting.  The result when finished though came out wonderfully so it was all well worth the time and effort.

I have another commissioned bear I'll be working on next.  A customer wants one similiar to my Quinn (the little harlequin bear) only wants it sewn not crocheted.  I've ordered the supplies and will be starting on that as soon as they arrive.  I'm looking forward to working on this one as it will be a challenge for me to incorporate the harlequin diamond pattern.

In the meantime while I wait for the supplies...I'm working on another doily, this one will be ecru and rose....I'll be posting a picture as soon as it's completed and blocked.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Atlanta's Joy

Xi Lan

Not all too long ago a little baby Panda was born in the Atlanta Zoo. This year she leaves us to go back to China for their breeding program. I decided to name my newest panda after her.... Xi Lan which means "Atlanta's Joy".

This is my 2nd sewn bear this year (2 out of 5, 3 more to go to meet my personal goal for traditionally sewn bears this year), and my 2nd sewn panda. She's 3.75 inches standing and 2.75 inches sitting. She is a deep plum color with white and has a tiny little heart with a plum color crystal dangling from it on a ribbon around her neck. She is also wearing a tiny tatted little butterfly on her ear, made in shaded pink silky thread (thread size about 100).

The little afghan she's sitting on comes with her but the flower is one of several my daughter and I found in the store the other day.  They are all different colors and work quite nicely for photos.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Purple Panda Fairy Bear

I just finished up an order for a purple panda fairy bear. This is the first sewn panda I've made and the first time I've tried making the wings. All in all I think they came out very well :-)

The panda's name is Purppell and it has blue to purple shaded wings. It also holds a tiny tatted butterfly with another one on it's ear. The tatting was done with size 80 tatting thread. and the little panda is about 4 inches tall standing.

I also made another panda in a boisenberry/plum color. I'm trying to decide on accessories for it. I'll post a picture of that one too as soon as it's completed. I'm not sure yet if it will have wings or not.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Where Does The Time Go?

I'll post more soon. I'm just really busy with orders at the moment. Time flies by when you're busy!!

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Sometimes Everything Just Goes Right

Have you ever had one of those days where nothing you did went right? Well, sometimes everything goes right too! Today has been like that for me.

I knew I had alot of work ahead of me for the day. Without an alarm clock going off I woke up a bit early. I still got plenty of sleep but without planning I also got those few extra minutes of work time.

Then when I sat at my computer to work on Mini Teddy Hugs (tm), my online miniature teddy bear magazine I thought it would take me all day to get the new issue done. But to my surprise, everything fell into place right away and after only 2.5 hours work the issue I was able to finish it up and it is ready to publish! This leaves me time to work on my orders! Yippie!

As far as the orders go I'm a bit ahead of the game on them too. I should be able to get 3 bears to the point of doing faces by tomorrow. Two are orders and one is going to be put up for sale. I have more work to do on them and their accessories after tomorrow but I'm about a day ahead of where I thought I'd be at this time in the process of making them.

So everything is going just right and I'm in a really good mood. Hope it lasts the whole day!!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Weekends

Weekends are usually my time to rest a bit, relax, and try to tie things up from the week. This weekend however I've been starting on new orders, organizing threads, playing facebook games (LOL), doing laundry, and several other things, instead of my usual finishing up of what was already in the works. I'm not sure if I'm ahead of the game or behind hehe.

While organizing my threads I decided to try my hand at tatting and found a design that I thought might work well for a little tatting practice. It's working out nicely and when done I'll try to remember to post a picture.

I also got started on a couple of customer orders that I think will be lots of fun to work on, then after those I have something new I want to try. So keep an eye out for upcoming creations!

Hope everyone had a good weekend!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

New Beginnings

I was reminded recently by a wonderful person (my daughter) that a blog is supposed to be about people's thoughts and feelings and happenings in their lives, etc.....not just posts of a new creation made. So my New Year's Resolution is to begin again with this blog and try to make it more personal, more of an insight into me.

Let me begin with a few words about why I make the creations I do...what motivates me if you will. Sometimes it's an order from a customer and in addition to making that customer's order I'll make another to go along with it. Sometimes it's opposites...like if I make a kitten then I think about making the opposite...a little puppy. On occasion I am looking around the internet and see something I think is pretty or interesting and want to try it...it doesn't even have to be a bear or other animal...it can be almost anything.

The little pin cushions I make started from a desire to cross stitch again after years of setting it all aside. I joined a couple of cross stitch groups on Yahoo to see what people were currently doing and from visiting their blogs found out about this cute little thing called a biscornu (french word for quirky shape) that people were making for pin cushions. Well I thought it's small, will work up quickly instead of the big long term projects I usually stitch, looks interesting and the ones I've seen are certainly pretty...I've just go to try this! From that I refound my love of cross stitch and am working on finishing the Angel of the Sea in memory of my mother (I started it when she had a stroke and she later died from a 2nd stroke). I'd barely gotten any done when she passed away and it was then that I put my stitching away. Now the Angel of the Sea is nearly completed after working on it on and off whenever I had spare time over the last year and I'm very happy I picked it up and worked on it again.

The inspiration for making my miniature bears (and other animals) came from my daughter too. She saw them online and asked me one day if it was something I could make cause she knew I loved to crochet. I won't go into the details in this post (maybe in another one) but I tried making one, loved doing it, one thing lead to another and now I've been making them since 2002, and I'm the head of the Thread Artist Guild (R) as well as progressing and being awarded the title of Master Artist with them. Making the crochet bears lead me to wanting to try sewn/mohair type ones so I've dabbled in that here and there and plan to work more in that arena this year.

Other things such as doilies, afghans, etc. I love to make because I love to crochet. My grandmother taught me how at the age of 7 and from there my mom, and my other grandmother expanded my knowledge to include all kinds of needlework like knitting, crewel embroidery, needlepoint, miniature work, etc. Then a dear friend helped me learn to Tat a few years ago and I enjoy that too!

So that's a general overview of what I make and why/how I got started. As this year continues I will be expanding this blog to include all these things along with the highlights and frustrations along the way.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Winter Biscornu

Last year I fell in love with making these wonderful little embroidered pin cushions known as biscornus. The word biscornu is derived from a French adjective, meaning skewed, quirky, or irregular in shape. These little pin cushions fit that description well.

This one is done with a winter theme and includes Hardanger (cutwork), snowflakes, pine cones, and hearts. I really like how it turned out and it could be easily adapted to represent other seasons or themes.

The Hardarnger is done white on white. Between the hardanger hearts are white snowflakes with a pearl in the center of each. The pine and cones are done in winter Victorian colors of teal greens and brown. The small hearts are done in a dusty Victorian rose color and I've added a pearl at the corners with the hearts. The underside is stitched kloister blocks (basis of the hardanger) without the cutwork and has the pine/hearts also so that when sitting the pine/hearts can be seen all around.

I enjoy making these now and then as a break from my regular stuff :-)

Friday, January 15, 2010

Valentine Kitty

A winter white kitten to cuddle and a red heart....What could be better for Valentine's day? The inspiration for Kuddles came from working on another kitten from my Scraggles pattern and a craving to tat something. I get these cravings every so often and they don't go away until I give in and just do it!

This is Kuddles. Kuddles is a precious little white micro kitten wearing a red winter scarf and sitting on a shuttle tatted heart. She just barely measures at 2.0 inches tall which makes her a micro creation. Her name is Kuddles (pronounced "Cud-dles") which means "sweetheart" in Kittenese.

Kuddles is an artist kitten bear friend that stands at just barely 2.0 inches tall. She is made from acrylic threads, wears a perle cotton thread scarf and comes with a Shuttle Tatted Heart. She has onyx bead eyes with shading and extra details to give them added depth. She will arrive ready for display in an acrylic box along with an artist signed picture tag of authenticity.

She can be purchased from my Etsy shop - PeachtreeCottage.etsy.com

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

A Little Late Posting But...

This is a little penquin I made as the prize for a contest in Mini Teddy Hugs ( http://www.MiniTeddyHugs.com ).

His name is Peter Penquin. Peter Penquin is a precious little white and gray baby penquin wearing a red winter hat and standing on a tatted snowflake. He just barely measures at 1.5 inches tall which makes him a micro creation. His name is Peter (pronounced "Pea-ter") which means "baby" in Penquinese.

For the coming year I plan to work on some more Tatting and Doilies as well as continuing to make my little bears and their friends. I hope to have one posted here soon.