Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Novica's new Artisan-Powered Gift Finder‏ and a Giveaway!

Novica is one of the leading fair trade artisan websites. They work with National Geographic to give talented artisans around the world a place to express their artistic talents and provide access to the world market.

i have always been drawn to unique artwork and clothing from other countries. However, once i became aware that many times artists are not paid a fair wage for the product i became hesitant to buy many imports.

Novica provides fair trade products made by artisans around the globe. They want you to know who you're buying from, to feel an attachment to the product, and to the hands that created it. One of my favorite features on the Novica site is that there is an artist story at the bottom of every product. So, you can see the artists who are actually making the items. When you purchase an item from Novica, an artisan card is included with each item.

It is hard not to love the gifts and artisans on Novica, but it can be a little overwhelming trying to navigate through all the products because there are so many wonderful gifts to choose from!

That is why Novica created the Gift Finder!

 The Gift-Finder allows you to sort by Gifts for her or Gifts for him,  you can find gifts by price, by region or select categories like jewelry, sculpture, home decor, clothing, handbags, games, tableware, vases and more. You can even search by the type of personality, favorite interests,  Eco-friendly and specific occasions!  It really breaks it down and helps you to find the perfect gift!

No matter what your budget, NOVICA’s gift finder is a super easy and fun way to find something extraordinary for your friends and family members on your holiday shopping list. You’ll be amazed at the beautiful works of art that are created by the artisans from all over the world on NOVICA’s site.

Thanks to the generous folks at NOVICA, One of my reader will win a $40 online  Gift Code to   
Please enter using the rafflecopter form below. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Disclosure: Novica provided me with a gift code to use and one to giveaway. In exchange for a blog post about their new Gift Finder. All opinions are my own.   

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Homemade Gifts- getting started.

Handmade gifts are a big part of our holiday celebration. Every year, i make my kids something really special.    Here are a few of the gifts i've made in the past.  These are from last year, you have to scroll down the page to see the handmade items.   These and These are from 2010.

This year, i thought i was getting a head start on my holiday shopping and crafting.  Then it seems i blinked and we have less than 3 weeks left! Ack!!  So yeah, a bit of panic is beginning to set in.

So i am just getting started on handmade gifts for this year. Here is a bit of a sneak peek.

 Last year, my boy requested Harry Potter bendy dolls, and i never actually got around to making them.  This year, he requested the entire company from The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings...and decided Harry Potter would be much easier!!  So this is my first attempt.  Ron and Hermione are still in progress, and i'll post pictures when they are finished.  My hand is definitely not steady enough to draw glasses, but it will do.  My plan is to have the 3 dolls for my boys stocking. i'm planning to make a few bendy doll for my girl as well, but haven't decided what to make her yet.

 For some reason my girl is completely obsessed with Monster High. Other than seeing them on the toy isle shelves i'm not sure where she got it from. i personally don't care for the dolls, but i do like the cute little skull with the hair bow. Since Monster High is high on her list this year...and i don't actually plan to buy any (good Aunty gifts) but i did cave and make her a couple of Monster high themed hats.  i was orginally only going to make one, but i couldn't decide between the pom-pom or ears. So i decided to go with one of each.  Her favorite MH girl has brown wolf ears, so that's what i was going for. :)  i think she'll love them.

i'm also going to make my boy a hat in Ravenclaw colors, and will probably make them both a few other things as long as i don't run out of time. Still working on my other hand made gifts which typically include crocheted wash clothes and jars of jam.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Acorn Cap Toadstool Ornaments.

For the past few years, we have decorated our yule tree exactly the same. We decorate it in blue and silver. Our ornaments are very simple.  Pinecones painted silver, blue bows, silver bells, blue glass balls, gingerbread and hand blown glass icicle ornaments.

This year i wanted something different. i wanted something even more simple and rustic.  i decided a  woodland theme would be perfect.  Later that same day i headed over to the Martha Stewart website to snag the gingerbread recipe we use every year. Apparently Martha has been reading my mind, on the homepage was a photo gallery for a Woodland Christmas at Martha's house.
The photo gave me so many ideas.  One of my favorite of course were the toadstools. The wool ornaments in the photo gallery were made fom wool felt and are needle felted. i wanted something a little different, and came up with these acorn cap toadstool ornaments.  They are really easy to make and look wonderful on the tree.

All you need for this project is some acorn caps, preferably the flat larger ones that measure around 1" across.  Red and white paint, clean carded wool, and some white embroidery floss or string. Hot water, a drop of dish soap and a needle.


i let my daughter paint all the caps red.  Then we added all the white dots. 

To make the stems we wet felted some white roving.  It was very easy. We just pulled off a piece that was 3-4" long and dipped it into some hot water that had a drop of dish soap in it.  Then we rolled the wool between our hands the way you would roll clay to make a snake. We had to dip it into the water  few times, and continue to roll and squeeze out the water until we had a felted tube. It looks very similar to a dread lock. We cut the tube into 1" pieces, and then wet felted them a bit more (rolling them in our hands) so that the edges rounded off a bit.  They looked a bit like cigarette butts before we softened the edges.  Then we let them dry.

i apologize now for my bad pictures. :)  These are very easy to put together.  All of our acorn caps had a natural hole right in the center where the stem had been.  On a few of them it wasn't quite as obvious, but we were able to create a hole just using our needle. We didn't have to drill them at all. Depending on the type of acorns you have you may get lucky, or you may have to use a dremel to drill your holes.

To put them together. i used white embroidery floss on a needle. i ran the floss up through the bottom of the wool stem (1) and through the bottom of the acorn cap.  Then i brought the needle back through the top of the cap, leaving a loop. (2).  i tied a knot at the base of the loop, to keep it from slipping through. Then i bought the needle through the top of the wool stem, out the bottom and tied another knot. (3)  i put a dab of glue on the knot and snipped off the extra string.

Here are our finished ornaments.  We have made a dozen so far, and need to go out gathering more acorn caps.i love the simplicity of these, and plan to make some that are natural colored as well.

We have not dug our tree yet, so i am still coming up with ideas for decorating it.  i'll be sure to share them, and pictures of our finished tree once it is decorated.

If any thing is unclear in this tutorial let me know and i can try to explain it a little better. :)

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Hiddenite Gems: Emerald Hollow Mine, NC.

i have some serious bloggy catch up to do! My craft business is doing great right now, and trying to balance that and a house and family has left me a bit stretched for time.  So you can expect a few back posts.

My boy read about Hiddenite Gems in Family fun magazine and asked if we could visit. After looking it up, we realized it is really quite close and would make a wonderful day trip!


Pricing is reasonable.  It's $5 per person for sluicing and includes 1 complimentary bucket. Additional buckets can be purchased ranging from $5-$500 each.  The fee for creeking is $10 per person, and it include the sluicing permit and complimentary bucket as well. You can also rent tools/screens for creeking if you don't have your own.

The kids had an absolute blast sluicing!  My one big suggestion is to wear old clothes, and bring a change of clothes if you plan to go anywhere afterwards. It took my kids about 30 sec. to be covered from head to toe in red mud. The mud stain clothing a lovely pink color and is pretty much impossible to you might want to keep that in mind. ;)
  The kids were thrilled with every stone they found.  The complimentary buckets were quite obviously 'salted' but the kids didn't know or care. They had a ton of fun finding each and every treasure.  They each filled half a quart sized ziplock bag with assorted semi-precious stones. 

We didn't find a whole lot in the creek, but the experience itself was a lot of fun. My girl didn't really look for stones at all, she just jumped from rock to rock and actually found a salamander.  Both boys were really into rock hunting.  i found a handful of pretty stones, mainly amethyst and sodalite. i was also the only one to find petrified wood, i found 3 pieces!

Although none of our stones were really worth much, we all had a really nice time.  It was a bit chilly when we were here, and i think the next time we visit it will be during the summer so we can actually get in the creek and pack a picnic lunch. It was really cold while we wee there, and are fingers were numb from picking rocks out of the water.

Here are a few of the treasures i found. Petrified wood, black tourmaline, Amethyst, Aventurine, Rose quartz, smoky quartz and clear quartz. Moonstone, sodalite and Citrine.   After looking at the stone chart after we were done creeking/sluicing we realized that the valuable stones...emeralds rubies and Hiddenite didn't look like anything at all. In fact had we found one in our buckets or in the creek we would have tossed it back thinking it was a common rock. So if you visit hiddenite, you might want to familiarize yourself with those stones in their raw form.

 Reviews on Hiddenite Gems, are quite mixed. Some folks seem to really enjoy the visit, while others feel that it's a tourist trap because some of the buckets are 'salted'.

We went not knowing what to expect at all, and had a great time. We knew it was a treasure hunt...we might find something, we might not.  However, had we come home with absolutely nothing i think i would have been pretty disappointed. So even though i realized right away that the stones had been planted in our buckets....they were fun to find. It was fun washing them off, and figuring out what we had.  So it didn't bother me at all. i suppose if you go there thinking you are going to find a million dollar ruby in a $5 bucket, you might be disappointed.  We really enjoyed our visit though, and the staff was very friendly and informative.   We look forward to visiting again next summer, and spending more time searching the creeks.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Marble Masters at Blue Goose Gallery.

On November 11/12 GooseFire Gallery, Long Beach CA., hosted the very first "Marble Masters" gallery showing of fine contemporary borosilicate marbles.  My husband, Kenan Tiemeyer was extremely honored to be included among these incredibly talented 'Marble Masters'.

Some of the most recognized marble makers in the world were invited to participate in the show. These top "Marble Masters" included Mike Gong, John Kobuki, Gateson Recko, Josh Sable, and .Kenan Tiemeyer.  Two Japanese marble artists,  Yoshinori Kondo  and Ayako Hattori were invited, but unable to attend. Everyone of these artists have been making contemporary borosilicate marbles for a decade or more and has their own unique / innovative style.   Six other highly talented marble artists were also included in the event.  Each bringing an amazing collection of unique and creative glass art.

This is just a few of the marbles my husband had on display/for sale. The 'Eye of God' marble is one his signature designs.

Collectors and contemporary marble enthusiasts came to Long Beach, California from all over the United State to fill up GooseFire Gallery and were dazzled by hundreds of finely made orbs.

The "Marble Masters" are  Back row- Mike Gong, Zach Jorgenson, Jack Hanshaw, Gateson Recko, Kenan Tiemeyer, Tim Keyzers, John Bridges. Front row- Richard Hollingshead, Josh Sable, Jared Delong, John Kobuki at GooseFire Gallery.

For most, it was their first time attending an all marble show and were stunned to finally see so many beautifully made marbles in person. While many of the collectors have been acquainted with the artist's work on the internet, the experience of seeing so many outstanding pieces of art in one room was mind boggling. The experience of being able to meet and chat with the artists really made the event special. Many marbles were added to excited enthusiasts collections. In the end, everyone left with a feeling of satisfaction and gratitude for having been able to be a part of such an exciting event.
The event ended up being an overwhelming success and plans for a 2nd "Marble Masters" event to be held in 2013 are already being discussed.

The 2012 "Marble Masters" show set a very high bar that will be hard to top but it is certain that the artists will continue progressing their art and be will busy creative new dazzling orbs for 2013.

i wasn't personally able to attend the event with my husband, but am incredibly proud of him for his accomplishments and had to brag on him at least a little bit! ;)

Friday, November 23, 2012

1000 Fan Giveaway on FB!

In appreciation of reaching 1000 facebook fans, i'm having a  1000 fan giveaway!! Enter to win this lovely Woodland Gnome Bendy Play set!! Play set includes 1 woodland bendy doll, 1 toadstool table, 2 toadstool chairs, 2 wooden bowls, 1 broom, 1 wooden cake, 1 baby with hickory nut 'cradle'. First class US shipping is included in this giveaway. 

*If you do not live in the US, you may still enter but will be responsible for the shipping cost. 
Please use the Rafflecopter form to enter!!  You can visit the FB page and enter there or use the form below.  

a Rafflecopter giveaway

winner will be chosen by rafflecopter, emailed and posted on the site!  Good luck!!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Melissa and Doug Terrific Twenty giveaway!

Last week i posted a bit of a teaser about the Melissa and Doug Terrific Twenty holiday gift list.  This list that can be found at the Melissa & Doug website, it gathers the top toys of 2012, with items for every child in every age range. Including arts and crafts, wooden favorites, educational toys, classic toys for toddlers, and gifts for big kids, too, this is a great place to start as you kick off your holiday shopping! 

  To celebrate, Melissa Doug are hosting a “20 Days of Terrific Twenty” Giveaway on their Facebook page!
Every day this month, they’ll be giving away one item from their Terrific Twenty list to one of their lucky Facebook fans! So make sure you are entered in that!!

So, it's absolutely no secret that my family loves Melissa and Doug products! It started with my son who received a set of wooden blocks as a gift when he was 2 or 3. My boy loved it, and i loved the quality of it.  It was then handed down to his sister, who at 6 still plays with it and is not quite ready to get rid of it.  Over the years we have acquired many Melissa and Doug toys,  favorites including the Farmer market/lemonade stand, all of their wooden playfoods and the Arts and craft sets!  They really specialize in creative, imaginative play and open-ended toys.   Over the last few years their product list has really grown to include even more great items.

Melissa and Doug is also generously giving one of my readers ONE toy of the winner's choice from their Terrific Twenty List!

Enter on the rafflecopter widget below!! You might have to wait for it to load.  GOOD LUCK!! Giveaway ends 11/18/12 EST.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
  *Thank you to Melissa & Doug for providing a product to me (my girl chose a Trunki) and one to giveaway to a lucky reader!

Kai's Lungfest (local event).


Kai’s LungFest, is a concert in honor of Floyd-area teenager Sekai Talley-LaRoche, who is in need of a double lung and liver transplant, it  will be held Saturday, Nov. 17 from 6 p.m. to midnight at the Dogtown Roadhouse in Floyd, VA.   

This Music Benefit for COTA (Children's Organ Transplant Association) is in honor of a local teen, as he triumphs over Cystic Fibrosis with this magical, life-extending adventure! You can read more about it here.

If you can attend this awesome fundraising festival next weekend, please do! If you cannot make it, please consider contributing whatever you can to help an amazing young man get a new set of lungs.

You can make a tax deductible donation

via mail:

Kai’s New Lungs
PO Box 980
Floyd, VA 24091

Checks payable to: COTA (Children’s Organ Transplant Association)
Memo: Sekai Talley-LaRoche

Or visit the Website Donation Page:

100% of all proceeds will benefit COTA in honor of Sekai to assist with transplant-related expenses.

For more information contact:
Kai’s Krew: 540.745.4078 |
For more information about cystic fibrosis visit:
For more information about COTA visit:

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Origami Butterfly Mobile

 This past summer we raised monarch butterflies again, like we do almost every year.  It's always fun watching the caterpillars grow, and then transform into their chrysalis. Then we patiently wait for the lovely butterflies to emerge so we can release them. 

Often times i will look up butterfly crafts, coloring page and printables to do while we observe the caterpillars metamorphosis. i looked up directions for origami butterflies and found a couple i liked. Then i found these cool butterfly printed origami projects.  There are easy to follow directions on the page. 

 My boy figured them out quickly, and was able to fold them without help. My girl (6) did need a little help lining up the points and creasing the paper.

 The site has templates pre-printed for Monarchs, Swallowtails, Painted lady and  Dianna Fritillary.  The templates didn't all come up the same size, so i had to save a couple of them to my computer then adjust the size, so they were life sized.  Then i made them into a simple mobile.

 i love the way our mobile came out! The backs of the butterflies are just white. So, i printed two of each butterfly, folded them and then paired them up so that there is a printed butterfly on each side of the string. i just used a bit of hot glue to stick them together and attach them to the string/stick.  The butterflies spin and dance!

This was really a fun afternoon project, and the fold that we learned with these printed templates could easily be used with regular paper, or origami paper to make simple solid colored butterflies.

Life Expressions Feature and Giveaway!

     This month, i am really hoping to feature and introduce you to some wonderful SAHM artists and crafters. We are really trying to focus on a handmade & local holiday again this year, although it won't be 100% handmade (my kids want legos and barbies). We can still make a lot of our purchases locally and from small businesses.
The first business i'd like to introduce you to is my Sister in law, Shawna.

A bit about Shawna: "My name is Shawna Lowther,  I am a stay at home mother of 4 and I love to create special, original signs and sayings for people.  All of my signs can be personalized and customized, you pick the saying, color of board, color of lettering and the size that you would like the sign to be. "

Shawna orders the lettering for each sing, and then buys the wood, cuts it, sands it, paints it and applies the lettering.

All of the signs are on real wood so they all have that uniqueness that wood grain and knots add.

You can check out Shawna's Facebook page, and by 'liking' it you are automatically entered to win a free sign! You can also look around at some of the items that have already been created, the different styles and the color options that are available. Shawna creates signs for every season, and occasion!

She is located in West Michigan, and takes custom orders for her signs.  You can also find her set up at local craft shows, and you can even book your own "Make and take" party if you live in the area!

i think the block sets are my favorite. She has several Autumn/Thanksgiving themed block sets that really capture the season.  She offers a variety of different styles, shapes and colors. You can view many different examples of her work here.

i also really love the family signs. She has some with the child's name and birthday, some with the family name and many that have wonderful quotes or sayings about family.  There is a really a huge variety to choose from and the design possibilities are endless!

Shawna has generously offered one of my readers a small set of blocks (up to 7) or a 6x24 sign of the winner's choice!!
Please enter on the rafflecopter form below. You might have to wait for it to load.
a Rafflecopter giveaway Make sure and read terms and conditions, this giveaway is open to US only.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Snowflake Fairies.

 Snowflake fairies are appearing early this year!!  These ladies don't usually come out until after Thanksgiving! However, this year our early snowfall has brought them out of hiding!

IF you are interested in a snowflake fairy you can visit my Facebook page to see what is available or contact me at enchantedtree(at)

They each have a hat with  a snowflake embroidered on it.  They are 3" inches tall, without the hat and not recommended for little ones under three years.

i do also have a couple of the Autumn fairies left.  So if you are not quite ready for snowflake fairies (which i completely understand!! i do have just a few others available.

i've got a very busy weekend planned here, but am going to try and have a couple of giveaways posted for you guys!!  One will be for Life Expressions (my Sil's biz) and the other is for Melissa and Doug, We love their toys!!.

Also, i am almost at 1000 facebook fans! i'll be giving away a bendy set once i hit 1000 fans.  Yay for giveaways! It is so much fun to give stuff away!  :)

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Winter Visitors.

It seems a bit too early to be posting about winter birds, but with the early snowfall and super low temperatures i've been having a lot of birds visiting my feeders looking for food.  i love feeding the birds, and keep feeders out year round.  Our favorites are the hummingbirds, and i'm a bit sad that we won't be seeing them again until next spring.

Each season seems to bring different birds, and in the winter we will sometimes get migrating birds that just pass through for a day or two. Our most common winter birds are tufted titmice, nuthatches, cardinals, bluejays, goldfinch, juncos and pine siskin.  Occasionally we've seen Baltimore Orioles, Rose breasted Grosbeak and waxwings. We like to make special treats for the birds in December, and  in February we participate in the The Great Backyard Bird count.

This year i've had several purple finch visiting, and a pair of cardinals beside the regular birds.

My husband and kids bought me this feeder for my birthday. Isn't it lovely?  That's a male purple finch hanging out on top, i believe.  They look very similar to house finch, but are a bit different.  You can compare them here.  My females definitely resemble the purple finch more than a house finch, although i don't have them in a picture.

 Yesterday i received quite a surprise when i looked out the door! There were about 20 of these birds all over my bird feeders.  i have three hanging feeders and a log cabin style feeder on a post.  At first glance i thought they were goldfinch because of the color, but then realized they were twice the size! 

Turns out they are Evening Grosbeak. This is the first time i have ever seen one! They have visited the feeders two days in a row now  (completely cleaned out all the sunflower seed) and i'm hoping they'll return again tomorrow.  Always exciting to see a new bird/butterfly/caterpillar etc that i've never seen before.  i think this weekend we'll make some birdseed cakes and see what other wonderful winter birds we can attract!

Melissa & Doug Terrific Twenty List and Giveaway!


 The holidays are just around the corner, so you know what that means….it's time for the Melissa & Doug “Terrific Twenty” list! This list compiles the “best of the best” holiday gifts for the 2012 holiday season, and i'm excited to share it here with you!  They have great gift ideas for all age groups!

A few of our favorites include the Fashion Design Activity kit. My daughter received this for her birthday earlier this year and loves it!   This fashion-plate rubbing set lets design-inclined kids create a wardrobe full of fabulous fashions!

We also love the Melissa and Doug line of arts and crafts!  These new "Stained Glass" Peel & Press Sticker by Numbers are really cool! This guided Peel & Press Sticker-by-Number arts-and-crafts activity gives young artists everything they need to create a shimmering "stained glass" light catcher. The results are gorgeous!


The Trunki is another favorite item! The new Tie-dyed swirl and tied dyed Swizzle are especially cute! These sturdy, child-size suitcase are always ready to roll, with room for lots of stuff.  These are great for toy storage as well as travel!

To celebrate, Melissa & Doug is hosting a “20 Days of Terrific Twenty” Giveaway on their Facebook page!

Every day (starting TODAY, November 6) They’ll be giving away one item from their Terrific Twenty list to at least one of their lucky Facebook fans!

So make sure and "LIKE" MELISSA & DOUG on Facebook for your chance to winAlso, check back on my blog  as i'll have a very special Melissa and Doug giveaway for my readers coming soon!!! :)

Friday, November 2, 2012

Handmade and Local Gift Guide- 2011 Revisited.

 Last year i put together a gift guide with some of my favorite handmade and local shops. i thought it was a great way to help promote friends, family, crafters and small businesses that i love. 

i wanted to put together a new one for this year, and decided to look up last years post as a template.  However, last year's gift guide post is missing.  i checked dates, did searches...went through the posts month by month...but it seems that Blogger decided to eat the post. Who knows how many other posts have spontaneously disappeared? :( 

Thankfully i still had the picture saved on my pc.  So here is the list i put last year. Please take a minute to check out some of these fabulous shops!

1. Bee Kind Family Farms is a small family farm, focused on : sustainability & Love for mother earth.  This shop belongs to my friend Jaime and her husband who reside in the blue Ridge Mountains of NC. They sell honey, beeswax products and organic/hemp clothing. You can connect with them 
Bee Kind Family Farm on Facebook.
You can also follow their journey in homesteading on their blog

2. Red Rooster Coffee Roaster is artisan roasted in small batches, one block from the only stoplight in Floyd, VA. It is my local coffee shop, and one of the regions only Certified Organic Fair Trade coffee roasters.You can connect with them 
on their Facebook page
and on their website.  

3. Seven Feathers Tribe makes the most fabulous felt toys, and clothing. (check out her arm warmers!!)  Cre the seamstress behind these wonderful items is an incredibly sweet and talented WAHM of 6!  Also located in the Blue ridge mountains of  NC.  You can connect with them
Seven Feathers Tribe on Facebook. 

4. Simple Bright Moon specializes in handmade organic/hemp clothing and the adorable owl pillows featured above. Located in Boone, NC Abby uses fabric and materials that are locally bought or hand dyed hemp by a fellow artist.
Connect with Simple Bright Moon Clothing on facebook.

5. Patchwork and Pinecones / Pixy Patch are the online shops of my friend Danielle. She lives in a small town in Amish Country, Pa. which has a long history in quilting and patchwork. She makes a variety of great gift items including reusable produce bags, aprons, headbands and more! Connect with Pixy Patch on Etsy
and on Facebook!
Also check out her food blog.

6. Tangled Up in Yarn is my friend Angie's crochet business that allows her to stay at home with her children.  She makes fabulous crocheted hats, ear warmers and costumes here in the Blue Ridge Mountains of VA. Her hats are the perfect gift for the little ones on your shopping list.

7.  Old Gates Farm is a small farm in Castleton, VT where they raise pastured meats and eggs, veggies and bottle their own wood-fired maple syrup. The Old Gates online store is a spot for them to sell handmade soaps, hand knit goods, farm photography and maple syrup.
You can also follow their wonderful blog .

8. Life Expressions By Shawna Lowther.  Shawna is one of my SILs, she is a stay at home mother of 4 and loves to create special, original signs and sayings for people.  Her signs are made with real wood, so that all have that uniqueness of the wood grain and knot.  The signs can be personalized and customized, you pick the saying, color of board, color of lettering and the size! You can connect with her on facebook.

9. Tiemeyer Glass is my husband's website.  Although he typically specializes in marbles and pendants, during the holidays he makes icicle ornaments, and glass pens.  These make great gifts.
You can connect with him on Facebook.
You can also see more of his work on his website Tiemeyerglass,com.

10. The Enchanted Tree is my online shop. i started off selling handmade clothing and beadwork online back in 1998.  Over the years i've changed my focus, and played around with different mediums. Right now i'm focusing on my little bendy dolls, but plan to be selling Waldorf dolls in the near future. i also hope to eventually get back into beading one of these days. :)
You can visit my (neglected) website here. 

11. The beautiful crocheted boots are the work of my SIL, Kaytlyn.  i'm not sure she is still running her Etsy shop though, so i don't have a link to share at this time. 

12. BigFam15 is my Inlaws Etsy shop. They specialize in reasonably priced weaving and spinning tools made from rescued, saved, or recycled wood.  You can find mini looms, drop spindles, shuttles, warping bars and more!

i hope you enjoy the list, and take a few minutes to peek around some of these fabulous shops! i'm working on a new gift guide for this year and will be featuring a few different artists and crafters in the coming weeks! Don't be surprised if i have a few giveaways as well!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

IVE Fall Festival and Dugspur Halloween Carnival.

This weekend we had a couple different Halloween activities to attend. Our little school IVE put on a Fall Festival.  It's a fundraiser event with venders, bake sale and carnival games for the kids.  Last year we set up a table and sold some of our goods. This year we didn't sign up because Kenan was out of town for the weekend, and i  really didn't have enough stuff to set up a table.

We still stopped by to support the school, and spend a little money on carnival games and venders. The festival was pretty much empty. Maybe it was the time we were there, but maybe not.  It always disappoints me that more people do not come out to support the school.  We saw one little boy from my girl's class with his grandma, and one boy from my son's class with his mom. There were just a handful of people there.  i can't imagine they were able to raise very much money for the school, and honestly i'd be surprised if many of the venders return.  :(


The kids had a great time playing the games.  The school had two rooms set up with simple carnival games. 

Sage really liked the treasure dig.  Each of the treasure chests had a number inside, and  the kids could chose a prize from the prize table with the similar number.

The prizes were all junk from Oriental trading company, but the kids think they are the best thing ever.  It was just nice to come out and support the school.

After leaving the IVE fall fest, we came home had a quick dinner then got dressed up for the Dugspur Halloween Carnival.

The Dugspur Carnival has a costume contest, so my boy was exited to get dresses up in his Ent costume. i really failed to get any good pictures of it. It's such a cool costume, but doesn't look like much in the photos. This was before he had his gloves on. The gloves have branches hot glued to them. :)

His shoes too were covered in dried leaves. :)  i was actually able to make these without ruining his shoes. The leaves are glued together, but they are not actually glued to his shoes.


The Dugspur Halloween carnival was again very dead and disappointing. It's a free event to attend, you can purchase tickets to play the games and they sell food and snacks. This is put on by the Volunteer Rescue squad.  You would really think more people would come out to support it. 


Just to give you an idea of how small it was...there were only 4 kids in the 3-6 age group for the costume contest.   My girl was originally planning to be a vampire, but changed her mind to a pirate that morning. So she's wearing a vampire dress that i had found at the thrift store and a felt pirate hat (i had made that morning) and a sword. :)  She was very disapointed she didn't win the costume contest.  Rapunzel won as most original and the Ninja won for scariest. 

There were only three kids in my boy's age group (10-13).  My boy won as most original, the devil girl won scariest and the boy in blue was given the tie breaker prize...since they had three prizes and only 3 kids.

It was really sad to see such a low turn out.  It's so wonderful that they put this together for the children of the community, so i really don't understand why more people don't attend.  i have to wonder if they were even able to cover their costs of putting it all together.  It was run by volunteers, but they were serving hotdogs/hamburgers etc.  They had a huge table of prizes for the games, and 3 costume contest prizes for each age group. They were prepared for a lot of kids. 

i just really hope this doesn't deter them from doing it again. We always enjoy attending  and will back next year to support them again.