March 31, 2010

My First Blog Birthday Celebration Winners...

Well, the big day is finally here! I really wish I could have given a little something to everyone who entered, but rest assured, I'll have another cool giveaway soon! So, without further delay, I'd like to announce all the winners of my Alice in Wonderland-themed First Blog Birthday Celebration...
The winner of Alice's Necklace is
Jann from A Vintage Heart
The THREE Winners of Alice's Teacup Pincushions are:
Theresa from Faerie Moon Creations
Cath U from Cathron Country
and
Lisa from Tarnished and Tattered
There are SIX Winners of Alice's Bookmarks.
Here are the winners:
Andi's English Attic
Shirley from Shirleystitches
Dee Dee from Dee Dee's Craftspot*
Brenda from Ladybug Dreams
Snap from Tales From Twisty Lane
and
Marcie from The Rustic Victorian*
Last, but certainly not least,
There are FOUR Winners of Alice's Needle Keeps.
They are:
Rose from Bella Rosa
Missy from Crafting With Cat Hair
Kim from Starshine Chic
and
Nelly from Bella Nella's

Congratulations to all the winners. Now, I need each of you to contact me with your full name and address. Please put "WINNER'S ADDRESS" in the subject line so I don't miss your message. If I put an asterisk (*) after your name, I already have your address and will have your gift on its way to you this week.

If I don't hear back from you by Friday, I'll draw a new name and you'll miss out on your prize.

Please click on each winner's link to visit their beautiful blogs and congratulate them!
I've posted my first entry on Button Floozies! You can read it here.
JoySignatureAcorn

March 30, 2010

It's True. I'm A Floozie...

I was accepted as a contributor to Button Floozies blog yesterday! I'm pretty excited to be associated with this group of bloggers who all share my interest in these small items that are so fascinating in their diversity and beauty. I'm working on my first entry, and promise to let you know when I add a post there.

If you love buttons as I do, you'll enjoy visiting the Floozies, and seeing our latest creations. Handsome says I look like Scrooge McDuck in his counting house when I sit down and sort through my buttons. Now, he can just call me a "Button Floozie"!

You can click on the Floozie header photo or the blog name above to visit all of the Floozies with whom I'll be sharing button-lovin' space.
Today is the last day for you to sign up for my
Alice in Wonderland First Blog Birthday Celebration Giveaway
!

You must go to
THIS POST to enter.
It won't count if you leave a comment on today's post.

You have until 9 pm et today to enter.

Good luck to everyone! I wish I had a little something for each of you!
Thank you to everyone who sent good wishes for Kes. The vet liked the new x-rays today, as they showed less intrusion from the tumor than the x-rays from the weekend. She's going to show the films to a few specialists and we'll probably start with a little needle biopsy to confirm whether its benign or not. After we have that answer, we'll decide how to proceed.
JoySignatureAcorn

March 29, 2010

Mad Hatters and Dormice...

All the Alice in Wonderland gifts are finished and waiting to go to new homes. Teacups with dormice, Mad Hatter's Tea Party needle keeps, bookmarks, and that beautiful necklace, which I can't wait to share with the lucky winners.

You still have until 9 pm on March 31st to enter.
Don't be late! The party will be ending soon!
**You have to go to THIS POST to enter**
I'll announce the celebration winners in my April 1st post.

Ginger at Bearbits is having a giveaway and it also ends on the 31st.
Click on Blossom bear to visit her blog to enter.

If you go to my giveaway page, you can find out who the winners were for all the recent giveaways I linked to for you.

JoySignatureAcorn
Thanks to everyone for the compliments on my new sweater. I really appreciate all your kind words.

Handsome and I are taking Kes to her vet appointment today. I'll let you know what we find out tomorrow. We're saying our prayers around here...and Kessie is getting lots of loving attention these days.

March 28, 2010

Ta Daaa...

It's finished!
My green cotton sweater is now moved from my Unfinished Projects to Done! I'll have to add this one to my De-Stash Along 2010 Project list hosted by Missy at Crafting With Craft Hair because I had all the supplies I needed in my stash.

The yarn is 100% Egyptian cotton from King Tut. The pattern is Rosemary Drysdale and was so much fun that I will probably make another in a ribbon yarn (after the wedding dress, that is). I love the lacy hem and the patterned sleeves. I told Handsome last night that making the sleeves was such fun that I could see myself just making these sleeves for a while!

So, there you have it, my friends. A finished cotton sweater that I'll look forward to wearing year-round. Back to the studio now. There's a lot to do in the next few weeks.

Thanks for all your kind words for Kes (and me). I promise to let you know what we find out when we visit the vet tomorrow.
JoySignatureAcorn

March 27, 2010

I Got A Little Side Tracked...

I took this photo of Kes (apre' swim) last fall. She sure loves her toys.

So, I only finished my sweater parts late last night. Kes was under the weather overnight on Friday - to the extent that I had to take her to the pet Emergency Room at 2:30 Saturday morning. After poking, prodding and a radiogram, it was determined that she has a rather large tumor that is pushing her intestines off to one side. No wonder she was pacing.

She's sleeping, comfortably, next to me as I write this post to you. We have an appointment with our own vet on Tuesday morning, and I'll know more after we go. Until then, I'll make sure Kes is comfortable and pain-free. (Thank Heaven for modern canine meds.)

I'm going to assemble my sweater today so that I can wear it to Handsome's orchestra concert this afternoon. I'm especially looking forward to the Spring-themed classical music to carry me away for a couple of hours. I promise to share photographs of the finished piece tomorrow.

If you think of it, I'd sure appreciate a healing prayer or positive thought for my little Labrador. Thanks.
JoySignatureAcorn

March 26, 2010

What A Coincidence...

My newest copy of Somerset Life arrived in the mail today!
Of course, I stopped what I was doing, made a cup of tea
and sat down to page through it.
(I read later. First I look at all the pictures!)
I got to page 46, to find an article about a Millinery Pin Board, created by
Suzanne MacCrone from Italian Girl in Georgia blog...
and this is what I see!
Look! Here's a closer look!
How cool is this?
Then I had to read the article to see where the "R" came from.
(See her name above? No "R".)
I soon find out that her married name is "Rogers".
Now, I understand.
But look! I mean, do creative minds think alike?
Remember when I made this "R" (here, in January) and
included it in the Love Box for my April Bride " to dream on"?
I was tickled to see that we had done virtually the same thing.
I'm still smiling.

You have to get the newest copy of Somerset Living.
It's full of the most lovely things (but then again, isn't it always?)
I started The Wedding Gown yesterday.
I'll share photos soon. I need to make a little more progress first.
Oh, yes...I'm still knitting at night, too.
Can't wait to finish my cotton sweater and share it with you!
JoySignatureAcorn

March 25, 2010

Still Knitting...

I finished this "Cabbage Bunnies" pincushion over the weekend and will list it up in my Etsy shop in time for Easter and Spring.
I used a sweet little vintage container, wool felt and filling, and then silk ribbon and a vintage button to embellish the top. If you're interested in purchasing it before I get it listed, just send me an email and I'll set it aside for you.

My message is short today...One sleeve finished, one sleeve on its way to being finished. I'll be back tomorrow to show you the progress I made on my sweater. Have a great day, friends. Til tomorrow...
JoySignatureBROWNSM

March 24, 2010

Greensleeves...

Remember, I'm working on the sweater (for me!) right now?
I thought you'd like to see the sleeves in progress.

The pattern is actually a miniature leaf that repeats all across the sleeve.
It's a simple pattern - once it's set up - and it's actually quite easy to knit.
Of course, sleeves have increase stitches at regular intervals,
and you have to stay in pattern as you increase at the outside edges.
Thankfully, the increases aren't incorporated into the design
until a person gets the leaf pattern imbedded in their brain!

Don't you just love that the sleeves will have all this openwork on them?
I think it's just one more aspect of the sweater that will make it
comfortable to wear during our warmer summer months here in Florida.

I'm right on schedule to finish the sleeves before the last of the
wedding gown fabrics arrive, so I'll keep working on the sweater til then.
I promise the show you photos as soon as I finish it!
JoySignatureBROWNSM

March 23, 2010

At Last...

I traveled to Tampa yesterday in search of the perfect fabrics and trims for the wedding gown I'm making. As soon as I saw this gorgeous, milky white silk charmeuse, I knew I'd found what I was looking for. Charmeuse will be the main fabric for this gown. It has a beautiful drape, with the right amount of "lilt" to make it float when the bride walks. The fabric is lightweight., extremely soft and has just a tiny bit if sheen. Then I ordered chiffon for the train, which I'll have in a few days.

Lastly, I needed the adornments. You know how it is. You search through piles and piles, but then you see it, and there's just no doubt. I found it! A beautiful trim that will embellish the bodice of the gown. It's subtle and elegant and will be hand-stitched to the fabric after the gown is put together. There's just enough sparkle to mimic the glint in the eyes of the groom...the shimmer of the ocean at sunset...the perfect time of day for a beach wedding. At last...
JoySignatureBROWNSM

March 22, 2010

Daytime Seamstress/Nighttime Knitter...

If you look at my list of "Lofty Goals for 2010", you'll see that one of my goals is to finish my current, albeit small, pile of UFOs (UnFinished Objects). This is a project that has been on the back burner for a while, but I'm happy to be back at it now.

I usually knit at night when Handsome and I watch a little television together. I started this project right after Christmas last year, and picked it up a couple of nights ago, after I finished the Beads on the Beach clutch. I finished the front and back so far. Two three-quarter length sleeves to knit up, and then I'll be ready to sew it all together. After it's assembled, I'll block it and I'm hoping to have it all done by the weekend. At this rate, I'll be wearing it next week!

For those of you who knit...the yarn is 100% Egyptian cotton called King Tut. For those of you who don't knit...it's soft, breathable and has a great drape to it. I'll actually be able to wear it all summer because it's cotton. I also love the mint color of the yarn. Before I know it, I'll be able to check another UFO off my list! yippee!
Today, I'm on my way to Tampa to the bridal fabric shops. I'll be choosing the materials to make the wedding gown on my list. I'll be sharing progress on that all next week for you. I'm looking forward to getting started.

Hmmmm...Looks like I'll be sewing during the day and knitting at night. It's a good thing that all these things are fun and relaxing for me. Otherwise, it might start to feel like work!
JoySignatureBROWNSM
Just in case you want to follow my progress on my list..."Lofty Goals for 2010" is located at the top of my blog in my menu bar. I'll mark off my projects as I complete them.

March 21, 2010

A Serious "Gotta Have"...

Have you seen this? Do you know what it is?
I receive Clotilde's knit, crochet and quilt catalog in the mail.

When I was looking through it recently, I saw this rack
which is used to store cutting dies for the AccuQuilt Go! Cutter.

This is the copy that goes with the die rack:
"A fabric cutting revolution!
This handy little rack holds all your AccuQuilt® GO™! dies,
and keeps your sewing room neat as a pin."

I actually laughed out loud.
After walking into my studio yesterday, I think I need one of these...
or perhaps a professional organizer!
JoySignatureBROWNSM

March 20, 2010

Beads on the Beach...

My "secret" commission project is finished!
It's a beaded clutch.
Yesterday, I went to A Good Yarn in Sarasota to show
the finished piece to my client, Susan, who owns the shop.
The clutch features a Lorna's Laces sport weight yarn,
dyed especially for Susan's shop. The color is called "A Good Beach",
hence the name for my piece - "Beads on the Beach Clutch"!
It also incorporates beads from Deanna's Vintage Styles.

My project was to create a pattern for a new class
that I'll be teaching for the shop using this yarn.
I have a few small changes for the finished piece,
including creating a unique button for it.
I've placed a seashell where it will become a button.

I'll do a little tutorial for you next week to show
you how I transform it to "buttonhood", but I had
to show it to you now as you've been so very patient.
I finished the inside of the clutch with linen fabric,
making sure it has the requisite pockets, too!
Just the right size for a cell phone, credit card,
cash, vintage hankie and lip gloss!


Wouldn't you just love this as a memento of
warm, sunny days spent lounging on a Florida beach
(or dreaming of a romantic beach getaway)?

So, what do you think? Do you love it or hate it? Be honest now...
I'd really appreciate your feedback.

If you're interested in taking my class, or
purchasing the kit to make at home,
it will be available in April or early May from Susan
(once I finish proofing the pattern,
and the next shipment of the yarn arrives in the shop).
She'd be happy to send you your own kit!
I'll let you know as soon as they're available.

If you're not a knitter, I'll be making finished clutches available
for purchase in the Boutique. I plan to list them up in April.

Next in the studio, though, is The Wedding Gown Project...
(I hope you'll be back to visit as I progress
from fabric to finished gown over the next couple of weeks!)
Oh, and I'm not crowing, but you have to go to see my friend,
Anne at Fiona and Twig
to read the incredibly wonderful post she wrote about me Saturday.
Made me a little weepy, it did.
Thanks again, Anne.
There's still time to enter my First Blog Birthday Celebration if you haven't done so yet. I'm trying to get around to visit all my new follower friends. If I haven't visited you yet, I promise I'll get there and leave a message for you as soon as I can. I'm really enjoying seeing how creative all of you are. And, if you don't have a blog, no worries! I look forward to getting to know you better, too.

Good luck to all of you in the drawings. I wish I could give a little something to each and every one of you, but if you keep reading and following along, I'll do my best to remedy that in the future.
JoySignatureBROWNSM
Thanks to everyone who took my poll about the static or scrolling Etsy widgets. The static widget won, hands down, so I've removed the one that scrolls. I really appreciate your input!

March 19, 2010

Acorns and A Blogger Tutorial...

Another gift in the mail this week - this one from my sweet girlfriend, Denise. She sent me beautiful marbled craft paper - and Vermont acorns. She harvested them from her back yard last fall before the snow covered them. Thank you, Denise. You know I love the acorns and the paper is stunning! I'm waiting for a flash of inspiration on what to do with the paper. I'm sure going to have fun with them. Thank you, Denise!
Blogger's "Pages" Feature
Many of you responded that you'd like me to tell you about the new "Pages" feature on Blogger's gadget menu. If you have any questions after this post, you can leave it in the comments section, or email me directly.

Believe me, I'm not particularly brave about adding something new to my blog. I always save my template before I do things like change colors, font or add code. I'm perhaps a little more comfortable with code because I've been an eBayer for over ten years, and in the "old days", if you wanted large or colored font, italics, etc. you had to enter them in html format. Now, just like here, you can accomplish that with simple button clicks. There's no need to save your template. You won't be messing with that. This is really as simple as writing a post and adding a gadget, which I'm sure you've already done.

So, here's what I did to add some new pages to my blog menu bar (located directly under my blog banner). Oh...I did the color block through another blog tutorial a while back. I'd have to go searching for those instructions, but I think I found the "Add a menu bar" tutorial on All Blog Tools before Blogger made this new feature available. You won't have that color block unless you link to a tutorial for that. (Hint: I did a Google search: "Blogger Menu Bar" and found lots of entries to explore!)

To add your own "Page" through Blogger is a wonderful feature. You won't have to backdate the post and bury it as you've done before. I usually open my blog in a second window on my desktop, so that when I'm ready to start transferring something into a Page, I can just cut and paste from one window to the other. It's just easier for me that way.

NOTE: You may want to open a second window on your desktop now and bring up your blog so that you can click along with what I've written below for clarity. Just think of it as a test page, which you can easily delete later.

So, sign into your blog and then go to the same place you'd go to write a new post. There you'll see tabs for "New Post", "Edit Post", and "Edit Pages". That's the one you want to click on. Once there, you'll click on "New Page". Once you click on it, you'll write your page title and add your content.In my case, I wanted to make a special page just for all the blog giveaways that I post for you. I wrote a short message and then went back to the other window I had opened for my blog and clicked on the wrench to edit the first blog giveaway gadget. I pulled the giveaway photo from that giveaway onto my desktop so I could capture it for the new page. (Which I then did.) I want to place the link back to the giveaway under the photo (because they wouldn't let me link it by clicking on the photo), so I clicked under the photo first and then clicked the "link" icon. I copied the url from the other window, and then pasted it into the link on the new page. You will see that the url appears in the first box as well as the second. You can remove the url from the first box and type in the name of the blog (which I did). Now when your followers click on that blog title, it will take them to the giveaway.

OK, those are trees, and you still want forest. Sorry. So, type whatever you want into the page content and then click "save".

Now, if you go to your blog, you will see a gadget for "Pages", probably located in your sidebar. Click on its wrench (remember you're still signed in), and you'll see something that looks like this: (click on it to enlarge the image and check it out. I'll wait...tick...tock...tick...tock...)
Because I already had a "Home" link on my original menu bar, I unclicked that here, so that I wouldn't have two. You will want to check the "Home" link so you have one in your menu bar. It's already preloaded with your Blogspot url.

You'll see that you can choose where you want your Pages gadget to appear. In my case, I wanted it up top, so I went to "Customize" (you've done that before), and dragged it to where I wanted it to go (just like you'd do with your other gadgets). Now you have the start of your Pages! Go ahead...add more! No dates appear at the top, no comments will appear on your link. You're going to love this new feature. Let's see...hmmm... what else can I move?

Remember, you can contact me if you have any other questions about this. I'm no genius, but I'll to help you any way I can.
JoySignatureBROWNSM

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