Saturday, December 27, 2008

Item of the day: Clover Cup

I love the unique shape of these cups by kiefferceramics, and the frost one is my favourite colour: I think the delicate design makes them really special. I'd love to drink my tea out of one of these every morning.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Item of the day: Summer Shades

I just love the colours of this hand-woven table runner. Actually, I like everything in finnishweaver's shop, this is just my favourite: Although they are beautiful summer shades, I think they would look lovely year round.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Free Shipping!

Since I'll be away for 2 weeks and won't be able to ship anything off until January 5th, I'm offering FREE SHIPPING on all purchases between December 20 and January 4 at midnight.

Home for the Holidays

Home is such a relative term. It is our little apartment most of the time, except when I'm in Hamilton and talking about my parents' place. Then that's home. Until I'm there, then Hamilton is home again.

Either way, I'm heading home for the holidays, to Verner / the middle of nowhere. Pat is also from the area (we met in high school), so we travel home together. This year, if the weather is nice, we're going to get a ride home from either my mom or my older brother. My brother is more likely to drive in some snow, and he wants to stop at IKEA to get a last-minute gift. However, it really depends on the weather ~ it's snowing pretty hard here right now.

Well, actually, the wind is the worst part, blowing the snow up and reducing visibility. But we get so little snow in Hamilton that it's a pretty big deal ~ schools were canceled this morning before the snow even got started! Back home, we definitely would have gone to school in such a storm.

Anyway, I'll be away for 2 weeks. It's going to be a nice, long visit (though by the end I'll be more than ready to come back home). I won't be able to be online as often as I like, but my parents finally just got high speed internet, so I'll be able to steal my little brother's laptop to check my email, shop and blog.

I'd like to wish everyone a very happy and safe holiday ~ I hope you get to spend it with those you love most.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Playing with a new banner ... again

OK, so I had a suggestion that desaturating the pictures on one end would help create a focal point around my goddess (and shop name) on the left. Here are the results...

This is the version I have as my shop banner right now. Desaturating this version looked good, except for the tag (looked odd somehow) and the bracelet on the end - it has no colour at all.So first I changed the set of tags, and I tried 2 different bracelets. First this one:Then this one highlighted in blue/green:Or in yellow:Which do you like best? Or do you think I should stick with the full colour version? I like how the desaturation brings your attention to the goddess... And I think I like the first of the 3 the best.

More Playing with Banners

I still can't decide if I prefer 3 or 4 pictures on the right of my banner. I prefer the off-center writing of the first one, but maybe looks a little empty? Anyway, I had a suggestion to substitute the hot pink tags for green ones to enhance the contrast, so... what do you think?

Version 1Version 2Version 3Version 4Version 5Version 6 Version 7
I think versions 4 and 5 are my favourites... HELP!

Item of the day: Blue Hawaiian Quilt

I love quilts. They look so warm and cozy, and inviting. Plus, there is something special about a lovingly handmade item, especially one on the scale of this quilt. PacoandLupe chose absolutely stunning fabric and the quilted floral pattern is mesmerizing. Take a look and prepare to pick your jaw up off the floor (and wipe that drool off your face!):Doesn't it make you want to own a beach house so you can have this on your bed (or couch or wall) there? Oh, and do click on the picture and check out the listing for this quilt - the single picture just does not do this item justice!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Playing with a new banner

So I've been meaning to change my shop banner to reflect my shop more, while leaving this one as my blog banner. So I created 2 versions of a banner... what do you think? Too simple? Which version do you like better?

Version #1

Version #2

Item of the day: I'm Dreaming

I'm dreaming of finding this pretty white enameled tree under my tree this Christmas:Made by VerreEncore, this necklace is sweet and simple. I'd wear it all winter, as well as in the summer as a cool reminder of the peace and joy of the holiday season.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Baking Plus a Dead Laptop

So this weekend was my Christmas baking weekend. I have some pictures, but my laptop is giving me some trouble (see below) so I won't be able to show you just yet. Here's a list of all the cookies / baking I got done this weekend (and a bit last week):
  • peanut butter cookies (around 2 dozen, almost all gone now)
  • shortbread cookies (around a dozen, half gone)
  • everything cookies (from Pioneer Woman and oh-so good!)
  • gingerbread cookies
  • fudge (1/2 with peanuts)
  • chocolate truffles
  • coconut balls
  • peanut brittle (not sure if this turned out... it was still gooey a day after I made it... though Pat did say it tasted good..)
  • spicy nut mix (burnt half of it, darn it... and I made double because it went over so well last year)
  • strawberry tea cookies (20)
  • lemon rope trees (40)
  • holiday cookies with sprinkles around the edges (around 20)
  • pecan tarts
Needless to say, I'm pretty pleased with my productive weekend. I still want to make some sugar cookies, and probably another batch of shortbreads because they're so easy. But not tonight since my supervisor is having a Christmas dinner... unfortunately, poor Pat isn't feeling so good. In fact, he stayed home sick today.. Poor baby.

Now... my laptop. All of a sudden, it stopped recognizing the power cord. I unplugged it to bring the laptop into the kitchen for a recipe, and then when I plugged it back in, it said it wasn't plugged in. And since then (Saturday evening) it hasn't recognized the power cord. My baby... slowly dying a painful death. Well.. hopefully, Pat will be able to fix it. He should have ordered a new power cord already, and hopefully it's only that... *sigh* I don't know what I'm going to do without my laptop! Luckily, we're heading home for the holidays this weekend, and I wasn't planning on bringing my laptop (my little brother has my old one I can borrow). But still! It's an expense I don't need right now... so I hope it's easily (and cheaply) fixed!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Item of the day: azul druzy necklace

I love the intense blue of this necklace by BeijoFlor:The quartz setting looks awesome against the oxidized silver and with the cobalt chalcedony.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

The Handmade Registry

So my most observant blog readers may have noticed a new badge in the sidebar. It links to a new site called My Handmade Registry. Now I know what you're thinking (I heard that groan!), but this really isn't just another networking site.

Have you ever been asked "what do you want for _____???" (insert holiday of choice into the blank)?? Well, now instead of trying to describe what you like and dislike, you can easily send your family to your profile on My Handmade Registry. There, they'll be able to see your wish list of awesome handmade items you've hearted while browsing through Etsy. Plus, they can click on the item and be directed to the Etsy shop where they can buy it for you!

So you've never heard of Etsy? You've really been missing out! It's a site exclusively for handmade items. Artists and artisans from around the world can sign up and create a shop to hold their handmade items. You can then search through Etsy and find wonderful handmade items whose value far surpasses anything you would find at WalMart.

I thought I'd provide a step-by-step guide for anyone who's new to Etsy and My Handmade Registry and would like to sign up. Those of you who know what you're doing, head on over to My Handmade Registry, sign up (don't forget to thank the wonderful Dorana for setting this site up for us) and start having fun!

  1. Go to and click on Register. You'll have to come up with a username and password, and have an email to link your account to.
  2. Once your account is set up, browse around! You can search using the search bar, or click around through the categories, showcase or gift guides. Don't be afraid to click around.
  3. Add items to your favourites. Once you've found an item you really want, you'll see a section called "Page Tools" in the sidebar on the right. Under there, you'll find a link called "add items to favourites." And it's as easy as that! You can find all your favourites by clicking the "Favorites" link at the top of every page.
  4. Sign up for My Handmade Registry. Click on "Sign Up" at the right side and follow the instructions. You may have to wait a little while for Dorana to accept your registration.
  5. Once registered, join some groups! To do so, click on the "Groups" tab at the top, and then choose which groups you want to join. Click on the title of each group, and then click on the "+ join GROUP NAME."
  6. You can also add other users as friends. Click on the "Members" tab at the top of the page, and click on someone's avatar. You don't need to know them to add them as a friend - this is called networking! Once you're on that person's profile, click on the "+ Add as Friend" link you'll find under the avatar.
  7. You can also modify your profile. Click on "Settings" which you'll find on the right side under your name. Here you can edit your profile. Click on "Appearance" on the left side, and then click on "Edit Appearance Page." Now you can choose whatever theme you like and modify it if you like. Click on "Save" at the bottom and check out you page!
  8. You can move things around on your page too. While on your page, if you hover over the title of anything (Profile Information or Comment Wall) you'll see a little compass pop up. That means you can click and drag that box where ever you want it on your page. Feel free to add applications by clicking on the "+ Add Applications" link on the left side, under your avatar.
  9. To add your wish list (AKA your list of favourites from Etsy), go to Etsy, click on "Your Etsy" and scroll down to "Promote" in the left sidebar. Click on "Etsy Mini." Choose items from you favourites, either thumbnail (just a small picture) or gallery (a picture including price and title of the item) and the number of items you want to show (in columns and rows). Scroll down to the bottom and copy all the text in the second window, the Flash version. Go back to "My Page" on My Handmade Registry. There should be a text box somewhere on your page. Click on "Edit" and paste the text you copied into the body of the text box. Add in whatever title you want (Wish List) and save. Now your wishlist should appear on your page!
So go sign up for My Handmade Registry today! You'll see there's a group specifically for registering your wedding and one for baby registries. Don't be afraid to click around and ask questions. If anyone reading this has any questions for me, feel free to leave a comment and I'll get back to you!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Item of the day: The Scarf of Changing Shadows

I found this gorgeous shop, schtuff, through Pounce, meaning it's brand new and has had no sales. I really want to get this scarf, and be someone's first sale!I love the mix of two colours, and I'll bet the silky fabric feels great against your skin. Make sure to head on over to schtuff and give this new shop some love!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Item of the day: Christmas Trees Pillow

I love the clean, modern design of this Christmas trees pillow by bstudio. I wouldn't want to put it away after the holidays though.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Item of the day: hemp/cotton purse

I needed a large purse - not a tote bag, but a nice large purse. I shopped around on Etsy and decided to go with tippythai. I really like this style of bag, so that's what I went with - but I got it in this wonderful deep purple colour:I really like the fabric and colour - I can't wait to get it!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Item of the day: Zebrawood pendant

I found this shop when a pair of her earrings were on the front page. I love jewelry made from recycled anything, but especially wood. I especially love garnishwood's use of recycled wood with resin accents (and the fact that she's Canadian):I love the mix of textures and colour. This is definitely a shop to check out if you like unique and eye-catching jewelry ~ and who doesn't??

Monday, December 1, 2008

Item of the day: Geek Cube Brooch

I found the shop LaCometaLab through the followers on my blog! I can't say how much I like that new-ish blogger feature ~ I like being able to see who is reading this! Diana, from LaCometaLab, is an art historian living in Paris ~ how cool is that? I think her brooches are really awesome, this turquoise and pink one is my favourite:You're definitely going to want to check out this shop today ~ not only are her pins wonderfully unique, but she is offering free shipping until December 11. Don't miss out!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Black Friday and Cyber Monday

At the last minute, I decided to offer FREE SHIPPING all weekend. If there was something you were considering as a holiday gift, or to wear to a party this season, make sure to stop by my shop, Ulixis Crafts, and pick it up!


I moved to Hamilton 5 years ago to attend McMaster University. Most people I talk to don't like the city, but it's the first big town I've ever lived in, and for me it was love at first sight.

I don't know much about the city, but it is an old town with a rich cultural history. The town was conceived by George Hamilton when he purchased farmland after the War of 1812. It took some time for his idea to take form, but a police board and city limits were defined by statute in 1833. Many of the old buildings are still around today, and quite a few have been converted into museums or historical sites.

I guess one of the reasons many people don't like the city is because our economy relies a lot on the steel mills. On hot summer days, the smell and smog can be a little unpleasant, and I do get some thick black dust. But I love to go for walks through the old neighborhoods, and dream about living in any one of the mini-mansions.

While browsing through Wikipedia, I found out that Hamilton has a coat of arms, shown above, as well as a flag! I rather like it, with the pretty flower and chain. Here's Hamilton's skyline, as seen by the edge of the escarpment, or mountain. You're basically looking at downtown Hamilton. Behind you is the mountain, a whole city in itself ~ to the right is the East end and Stoney Creek and to the left is Westdale with the University, as well as Dundas and Ancaster. I live near that tall building on the left of the photo. In fact, if you look closely and know what you're looking for, you might be able to see my apartment building. I don't know how long I'll be here, but I'm enjoying it while I am!

Where are you from? For you, what makes a city a "nice" or "good" city to live in?

Friday, November 28, 2008

Item of the day: Shadow Pods

I've kept a personal journal since I was in the third grade. Throughout the years, my dedication to writing has varied, but I've always gone back to it with a renewed sense of commitment. I enjoy writing out my inner thoughts and feelings, as well as the mundane parts of my day. It helps me work through problems and decisions, and gives me a good laugh when I go back over things I've written years ago. Have I ever matured!

The point of all this is that I'm almost finished the notebook I've been chronicling in for the past year. I've always had store-bought journals, so I was quite excited at the prospect of getting myself a new, handmade one! My friend Angie recently purchased a journal (see her blog) and convinced me that moleskine was the way to go. I've also had a moleskine sketchbook before, and was impressed with the quality. So I wasn't planning on copying Angie's purchase, but after doing a general search through Etsy, the shop she chose seemed to be the way to go.

Shoofly has really pretty gocco designs.. I went with the shadow pods, in the larger size, lined:I'm writing a couple of pages a day now, just so I can finish the old notebook by the time I get my pretty new one! Can't wait!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Front Page!

My treasury, Golden Glimmer, made the front page!!! This is only the second time this happens, so I'm very excited!On the front page, it doesn't look exactly the same as I curated it, but that's because a few items sold. So far, 4 have sold! This is what my treasury looks like with the alternates. The top alternate, a necklace by moxiedesigns, was in the top left corner, but I switched it when it sold. Woo hoo! Thank you for the front page!!

Item of the day: Cardinal

Debra Linker is a wonderful artist whom I met via the "More Meaningful Gifts" BnR. I immediately fell in love with her cardinal prints, so I asked her to make me some Christmas cards featuring the cute little cardinal face:They turned out really well! You can find cardinal cards here, and feel free to ask Debra if you have wording you'd like to add to the front.

Through various games and promotions on the MMG thread, I also received a free copy of Debra's wonderful crooked Santa card:
He is so adorable, I'm uncertain whether to send him to someone or keep him to myself! Do check out debralinker (and her sister shop, ditto) ~ you're sure to fall in love with her work!

Happy Thanksgiving!

I would just like to wish all my American readers Happy Thanksgiving!I hope this holiday finds you and your family healthy and in good spirits.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Item of the day: Merry Christmas Card

I liked these green button cards by ScrapArcs so much, I asked for a set of 4 ~ 2 dark green and 2 light green.I like how the watermark ink used for the "Merry Christmas" and green patterns is slightly raised and shiny, for a real professional and unique look.

Homemade bread

I think it's pretty obvious by now that I love to cook. My Christmas list is as follows (plus my entire favourites list, hehehe):
  • salad spinner
  • bread maker
  • pasta maker
  • flat whisk
  • cast iron dutch oven
  • Kitchenaid mixer
Clearly, I like preparing food.
This past weekend, Pat and I went to stay the night at his Aunt's and Uncle's place - they have an enormous, beautiful house and are super nice people. I love visiting with them, they're like our adoptive godparents. Anyway, while I was there, I was able to scratch one item off my Christmas list:They gave me a bread maker!!! It was a wedding gift, and in 15 years, they've never used it. So now this near-vintage machine is all mine!! I was so excited, I made my first loaf Monday night. It was a simple white bread:
It was delicious! I was gnawing on my knuckles because it smelled so good while baking! The loaf was gone by lunchtime Tuesday, so I made another loaf last night, this time a sweet bread. A heavier bread, not as tasty, but still good. I can't wait to try all the other recipes in my recipe book - whole wheat is up next!

I love my bread maker!