Thursday, July 31, 2008

The Matches are Made!

Just an update for those participating in Etsy penpals- the matches are officially all made! I will be convo-ing people their matches this evening. I did my best to fulfill everyone's requests but unfortunately couldn't meet each and every one. I then tried to match people on interests, age, etc. and I hope all the matches work out well. Once you've gotten a chance to get to know your penpal, please drop me a line if you get a chance and let me know how I did!

Thanks again to all that participated!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Pen-Pals Update!!!

First off, I want to thank everyone who signed up for Etsy pen-pals - we've had an awesome turn out and I couldn't be happier with the whole project!

Questionnaires went out last week and although I've gotten quite a few back, I'm still waiting on a handful to be filled out and returned. While going through the ones I have, I've already made what I think are a few great match-ups but I don't want to send people their partners until I've chosen them for everyone! I'm going to send a few reminders for questionnaires out tonight and will hopefully be able to complete matching everyone up this week.

In other Etsy news, I'm having a Christmas in July sale! All Christmas items are 50% off their listed prices. Stock up before the holidays, chilly weather, and postal slow-downs arrive!

It was a nice calm weekend at our house - we're trying to relax, get home stuff done, and curb our spending in anticipation of our summer vacation in less than two weeks! I can't wait! We're kind of vacation veterans of the Wildwood/Cape May area by now but if you have any suggestions for restaurants or things to do that we might not know of, feel free to leave a comment and let me know! We're always up for trying new things!

Have a great day everyone!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Dear Pen-Pal,

Did you ever write that? As a kid, to another kid someplace else on the globe, usually as required by your English teacher :) But I, like lots of other kids, really enjoyed having a pen-pal! Today, it came up in the Etsy forums that lots of us would like another go at having a pen-pal. So here goes - welcome to the Etsy pen-pal signups!

If you would like to write letters back and forth with another Etsy crafter, please e-mail me at or convo me on Etsy. And we're talking real letters - stationary, postcards, and postage stamps. Maybe even a fun care package or small gift now and then if you want.

I'd like to get all participants together by Friday of this week. Once I have a list of participants, I will send out a short survey (5-10 questions) just to get a short list of your general interests and of course, your mailing address. Once I have everyone's info, I'll do my best to find compatible matches and will send everyone the info for their new pen-pal.

This should be lots and lots of fun and I hope we get a great turnout!

If you have any questions, you can contact me at the e-mail address above.

Monday, July 7, 2008

So what did you do this weekend?

I made cards. Lots of cards. 45-ish to be exact. Here's a random sampling of them -

My 'real' job is a little busier than normal this week so I'll do my best to get them listed ASAP...if you see one in the photo that you'd like me to hang on to for you, just convo me on Etsy or leave me a message here and let me know.

Sadly, we lost our beloved Louie this weekend. He had the most wonderful life any rat could ask for and went to sleep Saturday and just never woke up. His lifetime cagemate, Killer, misses him very much, as do we.

Besides that, it was kind of rainy in NJ this weekend so we made it a Blockbuster Weekend. We saw and liked Hairspray, Dan in Real Life, the 40-year old Virgin, The Ten, and The Number 23. Well, I liked the Number 23, Rob did not. We also started to watch a movie called The 13th Child: Legend of the Jersey devil. I would not recommend it, we got so bored we actually just turned it off and returned it.

Oh, and Rob made an awesome batch of Memphis style (of course) BBQ ribs. Feel free to drool.

Hope your weekend was great! This upcoming weekend I'm headed to Wildwood with Krystan - I can't wait!!!

Thursday, July 3, 2008

New Goodies...

So I've been trying out some new ideas for my shop. I've made 2 new sets of tags in new styles. One set is wrapped with ribbon around the bottom of a large tag and then has a little bow of the same ribbon tied around the tag's hanging string. The other set is made of very tiny white tags and has layered flowers with a silver center. The photos are darker than I'd like but I was working on them til the wee hours last night.

So What do you think????

I also made a few sets of stamped tiny tags that I'll be listing in my Etsy shop today. I made these adorable bluebirds, deep red hearts and bright pink summery flip-flops!

I hope everyone has a great 4th of July weekend!!! I'm hoping to get some crafts finished up and relax at home.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

It's been too long...

Sorry for my unplanned absence, things at work and home got a little more hectic than usual for the past couple of weeks. But I have lots of recent fun things to report and a few awesome upcoming things to fill you in on too!

First off, if you know me, you know that I never went on rides as a kid. Being from New Jersey, that's almost a sin. Between our legendary boardwalks, the proximity to Dorney Park, Hersheypark, and the fact that there's a Six Flags in South Jersey, there's pretty much no excuse not to give it a shot. Now go forward 20 years and now I'm an adult in NJ that's never been on a ride...married to a man that loves them. So after a few years of making excuses and finding ways around it, I finally bit the bullet two weeks ago and went on my very first ride! Not a big deal to most people, I'm sure, but it was a HUGE deal for me. And I loved it so much that we went back down to the boardwalk this past weekend to ride some more!

For those of you that aren't familiar with the Jersey shore and our boardwalks and amusement piers, here's a shot taken from the top of the ferris wheel, overlooking a few rides and the beach in Seaside Park. No, I will not ride that roller matter how fearless I get. People have a lot of bad things to say about Seaside Heights and while some of them have merit, they have done quite a bit to make it nicer and safer over the past few years and I really have a good time when we visit for the day.

If you don't already know, I'm somewhat addicted to the's actually the scariest part about possibly moving to Tennessee for me, I've never been that far from the ocean. We take several day trips to the shore every year and one big vacation in August to Wildwood Crest. This year Rob and I are going for ten days in the beginning of August and I cannot wait! My mom is even coming down for a few days too! We'll spend most of our days on the beach and our nights on the boardwalk or in Atlantic City. We also spend a day or two in my beloved Cape May, walking the mall, going to Sunset Beach, and going to their awesome (and free) zoo.

And if that ten day trip weren't enough, I'm also going to Wildwood for a weekend with a friend that I met on Etsy! Krystan has never been to the Jersey shore and I'm so psyched to show her around and just get a great little vacation to have fun and relax.

If anyone is considering travelling to Wildwood or Cape May or has never been there and has questions, please let me know...I'm a vacation veteran in that area and would love to make some recommendations!!!

For any of you that I've now got craving the beach, but for whatever reason it's not an option right now, I may have a solution for you.... This is the most authentic 'beach' scented product I've ever used and I'm absolutely in love with it. It's just all-around awesome and you can get it in HelloCrafty's Etsy shop. In fact, all her products are incredible and if you're not a beach kind of person, try the Satsuma lotion :) It smells good enough to eat.

Did you ever do something even though it was against a rule that you yourself created? I did yesterday. I've been telling myself and my husband for months now - no more pets! The majority of our fancy rats are older now and it will be easier to move the fewer we have. But then I walked into the pet store yesterday, looking for a simple container of dried plankton and came home with this.

Meet Coriander. Cori, for short. I apologize for the crummy picture, I took it with my phone as soon as we got home (which is why he's still in his pet store box) to send to his new dad who was still at work. I normally don't even buy my ratties at pet stores but he is quite the exceptional boy. He was marked 'for pet only' and has obviously been adored by the pet store staff - they were so excited that he was coming home with me! Normally when I get a new rat, they're cautious, a little skittish, and generally fearful for at least a couple of days. Not Cori! He's just all love, he gives kisses and snuggles and took treats from my hand as soon as I got him home. He's living on his own for just a few days as a precaution and then will be moving in with Jake, Louie, and Killer as long as they all get along well.

And in my true childlike nature, I am way too excited that my birthday is now within a month's time. I normally don't make gift requests from him but this year I've asked (ok, begged) my husband for a Nintendo Wii...we'll see later this month if he comes through!

My Etsy shop should be updated this weekend with some new cards and other paper sure to take a look!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Drumroll Please....

Good morning! I'd like to thank everyone that participated in my frog naming contest! I'm thrilled that I got as many votes as I did. All the names were great but one just seemed to fit our froggy friend oh-so-well that I couldn't pass it up.

So Congratulations UltraTrixie (see her Etsy shop here: for naming him Ribbs Van Wrinklestein!!! I even told him his new name this morning when I chose it and he didn't seem to mind it one bit :)

Again, thank you all so much! And look out for a new contest next week. Also, new goodies coming to my Etsy shop today and tomorrow!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Name a Frog, Win a Prize!

Let me start by explaining, for those of you who don't know, that my husband is quite the animal lover. So much in fact that he has spent years studying animals, specifically reptiles and amphibians and was a state volunteer for reptile surveys and other projects. People around us are aware of his experience and therefore we end up with all sorts of injured, misplaced, and otherwise orphaned animals. They stay with us until they are healed, old enough to be on their own, etc. We even get calls at all hours from friends and family to remove snakes from garages, basements, and other places they generally aren't wanted.

That being said, meet our newest addition, a bullfrog. And yes, that is a cricket (or locust) resting on his's actually his food but he's wasn't a very aggressive eater (to say the least) when we first took him in...he's gotten better.

He was in a ditch near the dealer that services my car while my husband was waiting for the oil to be changed in not-so-great shape. He had been hit by a car and had some damage to one eye, his front leg split open and back leg broken. He has since been residing in a small tank (to limit movement to the broken leg) in our home. Originally, we expected all to heal quickly and for him to be released in 2-3 weeks. Unfortunately, while his front leg and eye have healed beautifully, his back leg has not fully recovered just yet. He can hop but not straight and isn't getting good distance yet (we take him out for him to exercise a bit and monitor his progress...he hops around the back porch and occasionally the bathtub).

Now that we may have to keep him for another few weeks, I think it's time we give him a name. I've just been calling him Froggy but that's a little generic, don't you think? So here's the deal...until Wednesday morning, I'll be taking suggestions for a name for this frog via blog comment. Whoever submits the winning name (of my choosing) will win the following froggy themed handcrafted paper goods - a set of 4 gift tags and an all-occasion card. Just be sure to leave a blog link or some other way for me to contact you if you win!

Good luck and happy naming!

Monday, June 16, 2008

Updates and a contest....

After ripping my entire house apart....6 or 7 times, I have found my camera!!!! It must have fallen off of something and slid right under the couch, which is where I found it. I got the photos of new cards taken and have started listing them in my etsy shop.

I know it's a day late but HAPPY FATHER'S DAY to all you dads out in blog-land. Hope it was a great day for you!

Be sure to check back tomorrow for a fun contest that involves naming a pet that will be staying with us for a short while!

Friday, June 13, 2008

Woman Overboard...

Did you ever do something fully knowing you were probably going a little overboard? And yet keep doing it? Yeah, I did that yesterday....

I INNOCENTLY posted a thread on Etsy looking for soap sellers that I hadn't purchased from yet. What resulted, ladies and gentleman, is true chaos. I am now going to be the proud new recipient of 12, you heard me correctly, TWELVE new bars of soap. I'm not even sharing numbers on body butters. Now, if I were perhaps out of or even low on soap at home, this would not be quite so excessive. But alas, I already own two drawers of soap and cleansing paraphernalia.

However, do not fret, I guarantee that between my obsession, and the fact that my husband now steals my soaps from me, not a drop of this soapy delight shall go to waste. It will all be used in a far too timely manner, I promise.

I'm not proud of how much money I just spent (that surely could have gone toward other things) but that's why they call it an addiction, I suppose. But on the upside, the money all went to the fine and talented crafters of Etsy. And DAMN, I'm gonna smell good.

And for those who are wondering, I still haven't found my camera. So if I can't turn it up sometime tonight, I'll just have to get myself a new SD card and use the Kodak - keep your eyes open for new cards!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Photo Frustration...

So I have over a dozen fun new cards all ready to list in my etsy shop! A great assortment of birthday, thank you, just because, and other occasions. There's just one little problem...I can't find my digital camera anywhere!!! My beloved little GE (not the best one, or even the best one I have but it works great for my etsy photos) has gone missing! It's been having battery issues lately so I KNOW it hasn't left the house, but despite my turning my home upside down searching for it, I've still got nothing. I have a nicer, higher quality Kodak digital camera, but the downside is that I have ONE memory card between the two cameras - and of course it's in the GE.

So please be patient and keep your eyes open for new cards as soon as I can get some photos. Til then, have a great day!!!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Thank you All!

I just want to thank everyone who wished us well and prayed for my husband and I while he was going through the (very long) process of interviewing and trying to get a new job as a field service tech for the very big (I'm not sure if I can use their name???) endoscopy company. We found out last weekend that he got the job!!! It is a HUGE blessing for us financially and will do great things for his future career-wise as well.

He's going to miss the hospital very much but they've asked him to stay on in his department per-Diem so he'll still see all his friends there and also keep in touch with all of his contacts. He'll also be keeping his p/t job with the private practice for as long as possible - it's just a great place where he enjoys working and as long as he can afford the time to stay there he will.

He'll be out of town for training all next week and I don't know what to do with myself! On one hand he works so much that I'm already used to not seeing him a couple of nights a week and I never see him in the mornings but I don't know if just the idea that I won't see him or not will get to me. I guess time will tell on this one but I figure by the time it starts to bug me it will be just a couple of days before he comes home! I think he also has to do some shadow-training once he's home and it will probably take us about a month for us to acclimate to his new schedule. But even with the few adjustments and things we'll have to make, this is a huge huge huge blessing and we are so very grateful for it! I'm so excited for him too because as much as he loves his work at the hospital I also know he'll love this job even more! He gets a company truck and will be on the road in northern NJ visiting hospitals and OR's everyday and troubleshooting equipment problems - right up his alley!

I apologize for this post being so very random but I'm just so excited. Again, thanks to all who thought good things for us through this!

Friday, May 16, 2008

Takin' Care of Business

My second shop is officially open for business! TCBsupplies will be selling a range of packaging and paper supplies. I have a few items currently listed and there will be several more to come today! I'm not thrilled with the photos that are up at the moment but there's almost no sun at all here today so I'll retake them and update the listings when I can get better shots. You can find the shop here:

The shop's fun new banner is from and I've also ordered new business cards & some promo supplies.

And for those of you who are wondering (or who recognized the initials already) TCB was Elvis' signature phrase that he had printed on everything from jewelry to stands for "Taking Care of Business". So yes, the shop name is a hidden little Elvis homage. Why not?

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Best of the Best: Part 1

The more time I spend exploring all of the creative works on Etsy, the more I tend to feel like I have no right whatsoever to even be there. Some of the artists and artisans there so far surpass any abilities I have or will ever have to such an extreme, it's near frightening. I have, however, compiled a list of some of who I think are the best of the best, the most creative, the most talented or for whatever other reason, just my favorites. I've decided to feature these artists a few at a time here so that you all can see just how incredible these people are.

The first etsy shop I'd like to show you is a little place called Perdoozy. The Perdoozy shop's owner, Portia, is not only insanely talented and awesome to work with, but the creator of my most favorite possession that has been purchased from Etsy. She made me this:

Yes, those are pictures of Elvis rockin out all over it. How awesome is that? Jealous that it's mine? I know you are. But her aprons are all super cute with that retro pinup flair and I can't wait to add another to my collection. You can find her shop here:

I cannot emphasize enough the quality of this item and how great Portia is to buy from! You would have a hard time finding a nicer seller or a cooler apron!

The second shop I want to show off is actually one I found not too long ago. The shop is called MagicHands and this shop quickly became one of my top favorites. They make and sell some of the most amazing soaps and body products I have ever tried- and as a self-professed bath junkie, I've tried just about everything. Her soaps do incredible things for your skin and the scents make you want to wash your own mouth out with soap!

But the soaps are just the beginning - Have you not been able to find the right body butter because they're all too heavy, too light, too greasy, too powder-y feeling or a million other things that just aren't quite right? Well, search no more - the perfect butter exists and Jackie at MagicHands will sell it to you AND make the transaction a truly pleasurable experience. Go visit MagicHands here: and you'll find out what I mean.

In other news, there are some new goodies listed in my shop and I'm thinking of opening a supply shop...actually I've decided to open one but I CANNOT think of a name. I'll be selling plain tags, poly and cello bags, and some die cuts and paper piecing. Any ideas for a shop name? I'd gladly hear any and all suggestions at this point.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

I think I was born too late

Ever think you just don't fit in your own generation? That you would've been better off, possibly happier being born some other time? I think I was meant to have been born sometime in the 40s....this would've gotten me more exposure to all of my very favorite things- Elvis, retro (well they weren't retro then) kitchens, the incredibly simple but so very cool 50's clothes, the CARS, more conservative family attitudes (I want to be home, in my kitchen- not this office!), and basically just the 50's and 60's in general. I just fit better there.

Luckily for me while I was not born until 1982, I was born in New Jersey. And just forty minutes away from my house is one of my very favorite throwbacks to that time period- the Warwick Drive-In Movie Theater. Now based on my own little research, this is something that many people my age have NEVER experienced and I really think it's a must-do for everybody. On top of being wonderfully nostalgic, generally lots of fun, and a great activity for any age group, it's also significantly less expensive than your average multiplex! We go to this theater- Check them out and if you're anywhere in the area, you NEED to go and support this awesome business:

They have three screens that show 2 movies each per night and an awesome concession stand. You are welcome to bring in your own food (people bring all sorts of stuff) but we try to buy from them as that's really where they make their money. They charge $8/person and if you stay at the same screen, you get to see two movies for that price! The concession stand is also very reasonable.

We went up to see Harold and Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay and decided to take in the double feature and saw Speed Racer First. To be totally honest, I didn't expect much at all. I'd never seen the cartoon and the reviews aren't good - let me tell you, they are WRONG. That movie was amazing. Even without the incredibly played storyline and cast of characters, just the color, the detail, and the effects in this movie make it more than worth going to see. I highly recommend it...and I'm hoping for a sequel. I won't give it away in case you haven't seen it but they leave one thing kind of open at the end and I really hope they produce a second one to resolve it. Harold and Kumar was hilarious as expected and if you liked the first one, you'll enjoy this one too.
This was the view out the back of my trailblazer at the screen...could you as for more beautiful background scenery?

A shot of some of the old speaker poles in the rows next to us before it got crowded...they don't use these anymore but they still have them on the far left screen's field. They now use a system where each screen has a designated AM radio station that you tune into in your car and listen to. Better sound I'm sure but lacking in the nostalgia department.

And in thinking back to our two recent stops in Nashville, I've rehashed my interest in country music...I've always liked it (you can blame my mom- it's totally her influence) but driving through Nashville, everywhere you go and almost every station you flip to is country. I've been listening to it on Sirius in my truck and on XM online since I got back and I came across this song by Trace Adkins that I think has something to say to a lot of people, especially in my generation. I'm always looking so hard into the future, planning the next step that I never really get a feel for 'now'. I've been married for three years and I can honestly say that I've spent the majority of that time planning out our future and not at all enjoying this time in our marriage...this is something that's definitely going up on my list of stuff to work on. So anyway, here's the song...

You're Gonna Miss This

She was starin out the window of their SUV

Complainin sayin I can't wait to turn 18

She said I'll make my own money And I'll make my own rules

Momma put the car in park out there in front of the school

And she kissed her head, and said 'I was just like you'

You're gonna' miss this You're gonna' want this back

You're gonna' wish these days Hadn't gone by so fast

These are some good times

So take a good look around

You may not know it now But you're gonna' miss this

Before she knows it she's a brand new bride

In her one bedroom apartment And her daddy stops by

He tells her it's a nice place She says,

'It'll do for now' Starts talkin' about babies, and buyin a house

Daddy shakes his head And says baby just slow down

Cuz' you're gonna' miss this You're gonna' want this back

You're gonna' wish these days Hadn't gone by so fast

These are some good times So take a good look around

You may not know it now But you're gonna' miss this

Five years later there's a plumber Workin' on the water heater

Dog's barkin', phone's ringin' One kid's cryin' one kid's screamin'

And she keeps apologizin' But he says they don't bother me

I've got two babies of my own One's thirty- six, one's twenty- three

Huh, it's hard to believe

But you're gonna' miss this You're gonna' want this back

You're gonna' wish these days Hadn't gone by so fast

These are some good times So take a good look around

You may not know it now But you're gonna' miss this

You're gonna' miss this Yeaahhhh... you're gonna' miss this...

I'll leave off on that note for today....lots of new stuff in the shop this week and more to come this sure and take a look!

Monday, May 12, 2008

Back from more ways than one

So I know I've been completely ignoring my blog for oh...6 months now. I don't think I really 'got' the whole blog thing but now that I'm reading other peoples' so frequently, I'd like to pick back up on mine.

My husband and I just got back from our annual trip to Memphis, TN. We love it there and hope to someday move either there or Nashville. We drove down (yup, 17 hours from New Jersey) and toured a bit of Nashville along the way. In lieu of the 'normal' tourist routine, we chose the slightly cheesier route, visiting the Duke's of Hazzard Museum and the Country Music Wax Museum.....

(these photos are to stand as proof that I could NOT have made up the Duke's of Hazzard's free by the way)

After that we continued down Rt. 40 into Memphis...we toured the zoo, hung out on Beale Street, and took a couple of carriage rides around the downtown areas. We also had tickets for and made a few brief appearances at the Beale Street Music Festival - a truly awesome event that's consistently just a little too crowded and muddy for us. Some of the highlights we did manage to see however were Aretha Franklin, Buddy Guy, and the Black Crowes.

Sunday's activity was by far my favorite though, visiting Graceland for the second time. If you know me, you know I adore Elvis and all things a near frightening degree. If you don't know me,'ll figure it out soon enough. We spent the better part of the day touring around and spending far too much money on Elvis related paraphernalia. If you're interested, here are some of the shots from that day...

If you want to see more, just leave me a comment with an e-mail address and I'll let you know as soon as I get them all uploaded to Flickr.

And on the way home we had lunch at an unplanned and beautiful little surprise of a stop. We swung by the Loveless Cafe after reading about it in a tourism brochure. When I tell you the BEST fried chicken & biscuits I've ever had (coming from a family of great cooks) I mean it. You can buy all of thier signature stuff here (save for the biscuits) and I highly recommend it- We'll definitely be shopping there once the stash we brought home with us runs out.

So we've been back about a week and are getting back into the swing of work and regular home life....but are not happy about it.

Check back tomorrow for updates on Speedracer, nostalgia, and country music :)