Wednesday, December 24, 2008

I Love Christmas!

I have always loved the holidays - all of them! Okay sometimes Valentine's is not my favorite since I don't always have a Valentine.

From Thanksgiving on is a very special time of year for me. I love making dinner, all the preparations, cooking and baking and seeing the joy of family and friends. Decorating the house! It sets a nice precedent for the rest of the year with all the hustle and bustle. I always wanted to the see the sites of NYC during the holidays and it is so much fun and so many people!

Normally I shop and shop and shop. This year has been much different due to a knee injury as it is difficult to shop and also economically. I don't have the same amount of disposable income. I have had to come up with creative ideas and have done so.

What's magical about this time of year is also my childhood. I have wonderful parents. My father has been deceased for over 25 years. For some reason, I really miss him this year and am a little emotional about it too. My dad was a great guy who never really had a childhood. He wanted his children to have a good upbringing and to have great Christmases.

Being the youngest he always tried to trick me to tell what he was getting for Christmas. Of course he always succeeded much to the dismay of my mother and siblings. The last year that all of us were home, Dad was very excited. The tree was beautiful and I knew I found him the perfect gift. He couldn't figure what it was by looking at the package!

After dinner, his words were, "Feed the dogs, do the dishes, it will get dark quicker." Those words are immortalized to me. It was a wonderful Christmas. He died about two weeks later; the day after a North Dakota blizzard. But the memories of family, friends and holidays will be with me forever and make me smile.

Merry Christmas to All and to All a Good Night!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Respect - What happened to it?

A group I belong to has recently had several skirmishes within itself. It has not been pretty and sometimes things said or rather written were mean spirited and nasty in my opinion. While I am guilty of some of the complaints, none of it was directed at me.

It has nonetheless had a profound effect on me. I look at members differently and I question if I want to remain a part of the group, distance myself or become an inactive member. A week after the latest skirmish and I am still at this point.

I guess what I don't understand is why everyone cannot get along? This is a question that arises more and more these days in all facets and walks of life. No one can let a differing opinion, point of view or a general comment pass. To the other person they are wrong and have to be corrected. There is a lack of respect for the differing issues. They are simply wrong.

They are many different points of view with personal experience and envionmental issues as well as your DNA influencing your beliefs. Personally I love talking politics with people. I enjoy the different views, how they look at the world, etc. Probably completely different from mine and that is how you grow and expand your views of life. There's no need to change your point of view, just respect others.

With the holiday season in full swing, I wish peace, love, joy and prosperity to all. Most of all I wish happiness. It cannot be bought and can only be found within.

Merry Christmas!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Have I Become My Mother!

I have opened my third shop on etsy, It has just one single solitary item in it right now. This shop will carry bags, specifically updated tote bags. Instead of those old straps, I am using wood and bamboo handles, possibly some lucite as well. The fabrics are all high end quilting fabrics. The outside of the bags are machine quilted, lined with pockets on the inside and all seams are doublestitched. The bags are even reversible. So why I am asking if I have become my mother?

When deciding on the handles, I was trying to figure out how could you wash the bag. That's the question my mother would want to know and would not purchase if it was not practical. I made the handles so they can button on and off. That was my solution.

But I find myself asking more and more, where would I wear that, do I really need that, etc. etc. and now I know that I am a little like my mother and that is not a bad quality either!

Here's to my mom - a really terrific person and a fabulous hand quilter.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Make Lemonade Out Of Lemons

Make Lemonade out of Lemons - How often have you heard that saying? I can't count the number of times in my life and I guess it pertains to many of the craft shows I have been attending. Whatever the reason, I decided to put a positive light on these shows.

The Mini Fair was pretty much a bust sales wise. Sometimes you would be there all day and sell nothing and upon ocassion, there would be a few sales. However, I spent time with another crafter who I hardly ever get a chance to see, Nina of I figured out several different displays for my items. Met other crafters as well. Was outside in the fresh air and sunshine and actually got a tan for the first time in my life!

I feel that my shop is skewed towards an older demographic and want to jazz it up so it is more appealing to a younger crowd as well. At a show recently in LA, this was the case and some younger customers gave me some great ideas. I decided that this was an inexpensive focus group.

On the other hand, I attended The Traveling Boutique at the Santa Paula Inn on Sunday, November 9. The entry fee was very small and the owner of the Inn, Donna, advertised, was a very gracious hostess and the show was awesome. Basically everyone came within the first couple of hours and then it was slow. I met some wonderful new artisans, discovered an inn I had no idea existed and had great sales. No lemons here!

But it's the luck of the draw. I wouldn't trade any of these experiences but I may do things differently next year.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

The Election

Yesterday, November 4, we, the citizens of the United States, voted for change and doing away with eight years of Republican rule by George Bush. To be honest, I voted for Mr. Bush for his first term and didn't vote for either in the second term. Kerry was never an option for me and there was no one else. I am greatly relieved there were no voting challenges, no Supreme Court decisions, etc.

President elect Obama concerns me because he is far more liberal than I am. Add in Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid and I am even a little scared. However, I do want change but I also want a balanced budget and our troops realistically out of Iraq. I don't know if the hunt for Bin Laden is even worth it anymore. We need to be vigilant though. I do think doing away with the poppy fields in Afghanistan is a worthy cause because so much of it ends up in this country. I want CEO's to stop bringing home gazillions at the expense of workers and consumers and this has gone on for many years before Bush took office. I also like the T Boone Picken's plan for energy efficiency and doing away with the majority of our imported oil. Something has to be done with health care.

I think one of my biggest disappointments from the federal government is the lack of oversight of departments who are there to protect us, i.e. EPA, SEC, FAA, FEMA, etc. etc. What a disgusting, disreputable disaster for all of these departments. Yet they vow to clean it up and nothing ever happens. Fraud and greed are so rampant that I wonder if anyone at that level is honest.

To the citizens of California who voted in favor of Prop 8, may I ask why? Why is it wrong to marry for love. I am very, very disappointed that it did pass. It will end up in the Supreme Court and be overturned. The same rights for one and all except convicted felons.

Here's to President-elect Obama - I am sorry that you are inheriting a mess. I believe that if anyone can straighten this mess out, perhaps it is you afterall.

God bless you and your family.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

CCCOE Gift Guide

Well it has finally happened! The PR Committee created a Gift Guide that is incredible! Big thanks to Wrenay of ShopWhimsy otherwise it would not have happened. She knows how to create a website and the design know how to make it look great. Big shout out to the PR committee for their dedication and hard work.

What are you waiting for - go check out the website:

I am also excited to announce that I will be opening a third shop: For the holidays the shop will feature fleece wraps, scarves, hats and mittens. Coordinating dog coats will be available AnnieKDesigns will also remain. It will be interesting to see how I juggle three shops and increasing responsibilities from work.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

New in the Dog World!

On Etsy, we have teams. I belong to two dog related team, Etsy for Animals and Beagles Team! Both are very different but both are very similar in our love for animals.

Esty for Animals is celebrating it's one year anniversary this month. We are having a huge sale of 20% off all items in any participating shop.

I have also found some adogable items recently on Etsy. The first one is a doggie tutu made by 2QT4words and believe me, her models really are 2QT!

Here is another adogable item...

One more...

Next blog will be featuring the Beagles Team!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Beautiful Flowers - Dahlias

On Saturday, I participated in a craft fair at the dahlia farm outside of Ventura. It was one of the most peaceful and relaxing fairs I have ever been to or participated in. The farm also boards horses, goats and there are plans for chickens too. The tennis court is being changed into a greenhouse.

Ann and Andy Dunstan are the owners and they are very warm and gracious. So is there daughter Lottie. I met their friends and neighbors as well and they were the same!

I hope to participate in the fair next year as well.

For pictures of their beautiful flowers, please go to

Here are the directions and phone number should you like to purchase any dahlias!

From the 101 take Hwy 33 towards Ojai. Exit Casitas Vista Rd. (4th exit). Turn right onto Castitas Vista Rd. and go under the freeway. Turn right onto Santa Ana Rd. Go about 500' to 7922 Santa Ana Rd. On the right by the horses. Call if you have any questions. 648-6808

Saturday, August 16, 2008

New Addition to the Family

I have been looking for another dog for Cody. Preferably a dog 2-3 years; one to pal around with and play with so he doesn't get old. I thought by Christmas I would make the decision. Well Christmas came very early this year. My boss brought home another dog from the vet as the puppy had been there for some time and was going to have to go to either a shelter or a rescue.

I went to Long Beach and picked up the most adorable black and white springer spaniel. Cody came along. I spend 2 hours in a car with Cody hyperventilating the entire way. But it was for the best. The puppy's name was Cody and have since changed it to Copper, since he is black and white just like a cop car.

I am rereading how to train a puppy. Since Copper really hasn't had a home before, he needs to settle in first. He and Cody are great pals and are playing constantly. Just what I wanted.

Here is the link to my flickr site if you would like to see more pictures.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

I am a member of Etsy and I have two stores: and AnnieKDesigns sells home fashions such as placemats, tablerunners and pillows. My busiest time of year is Fall and Christmas. I also happen to make tree skirts. Sometimes I get tired of sewing around and around but I think they are beautiful and very unique!

CodysCloset features items for your dog such as collars in all sizes and dog bone placemats. I will be adding some dog coats and coordinating scarves, hats and mittens for dogs owners or really anyone starting in September.

On Etsy we have street teams. I belong to CCCOE, California Crafters Club of Etsy. It is a large group of about 200 members and if it can be made, these outstanding artisans make it. Some of the jewelry artisans are to die for! Their work is original and has been purchased by stars and worn on TV. There are fabric artists such as myself, knitters, bag makers, hand dyed silk scarves, origami peace cranes and everyone else in between from A to Z. This is a very talented team!

Every month we have a monthly challenge and for July, we have chosen Christmas in July. We have about 30-40 entries every month. If would like to see the entries, go to We also encourage everyone to vote and if you vote and have a shop on Etsy, you get a slot in a treasury – just for voting!

If you are interested in seeing more outstanding CCCOE entries, search under tags, descriptions and type “cccoe” or “cccoe Christmas in July.”