Sunday, 7 November 2010

Artisan Feature: KOALACaddie

I want to give a more detailed review once I have received my new caddie, but here are the pictures to start with. I'm so excited! :)

Friday, 21 May 2010

That's my boy!

Just a little personal moment. This is my son, Daniel. He is all of seven months old today. It's amazing how much he has changed from that first moment I saw him until now. He recognizes me. He smiles at me (he smiles, period)! He almost sits up and plays and bounces in his chair and holds his own bottle. Little Daniel, I am so proud of you!

Thursday, 20 May 2010

The Beauty of Local - Glandwr Bakery

I'm featuring another local company. This one definitely deserves recognition. I now know that when bread is really good, it needs nothing - not even butter. There's only the normal ingredients in their white bread - flour, yeast, salt, water - and yet they combine these four ingredients to create a bread so light, so crusty, so soft, with a salty buttery goodness of its own - better than other bakeries, and I don't know if it's even right to write the word "supermarket" in the same paragraph. It's a family business, and as is always the case in this town, my husband's parents and grandparents grew up with the family that has owned and run this bakery for eons. (My husband's parents and grandparents grew up with everyone in this town, and know everyone, and because of them, everyone knows me!! Very hard for a city slicker like meself!)

I'm afraid I'm not very good at describing taste, so the next time you're in Llangefni, Wales, you'll just have to go there and try it for yourself so you can see what I mean.
Here's their address:
Glandwr Bakery
26 Church Street, Llangefni, Gwynedd LL77 7DU
p: 01248723172  

Wednesday, 19 May 2010

I'm already thinking about Christmas

There. I said it. Christmas.
Well, if it weren't already the middle of May, and I weren't wanting to make gifts, I'd be okay. But I am, so I'm not.

I am at a loss for what to make people this year. My brother has headed back to Alaska, so I know he's always up for cold weather gear. My sister's in Florida, so something light and airy and made of cotton. My parents are in Tennessee, so they're ok with warm things. My husband's family are in cold weather too, but it's so much harder making things for in laws... So much more pressure to impress. Not that any of it matters anyway - even if I'm buying gifts I feel that pressure.

Even with the stress of what to make, one thing is for certain, I love a handmade Christmas. We didn't have one last year for one simple reason - we could actually afford to buy presents. It had been a few Christmases since we'd been able to buy gifts, so this was a nice change, but now - affordable or not - making is much nicer. I've had a couple grand ambitions - learning to make soap (which hasn't happened), and making knitted socks for everyone (oh I'm learning to knit socks, but if you think I'm going to make everyone things that require a magnifying glass and 86 hours each (sock), I've got news for you! )

So it's back to the drawing board. And, since it's baby season, and I've still got two blankets to make for friends, at least I will be accomplishing something while I ponder. But, I'd better not ponder too long....

A Few of My Favorite Things: The Perfect Knitting Bag

I have been drooling over this bag for the longest time. It's beautiful - country but totally stylish. And yes, perfect for knitting or crocheting. Why? The inside drawstring pocket. It's the main center part of the bag, plus there's sections on either side of the drawstring pocket for whatever else you might need. My problem with most bags is, well, zippers, of course, and velcro, and the lack of separating the yarn from the rest of the things you have to carry with you. See, I carry crochet projects with me everywhere. (Who doesn't?) And I don't want my yarn interacting with my keys or my hairbrush for obvious reasons. This bag solves that problem. I hope to get one before long, but I take alot of yarn with me so I'll want one that's a little bigger. Plus, I just love big bags!

This, and other gorgeous bags like it, and lovely baby quilts, are made by WoodenNeedleNook on Etsy. Check out her shop here:

Just want to give a shout out for my new favorite handmade site. This site is special because it promotes handmade artisans of lesser economic countries - including giving them the help and tools they need to sell their wares online just like the rest of us. It's really worth having a look.

Wednesday, 10 December 2008

New Legislation Threatens the Handmade Community

By an act of Congress, as of February 10, 2009, all items intended for children under 12 years of age, that have not been tested and certified as within the legal limits for lead content, will be deemed a "Hazardous Substance."

This new law, purposed and ratified for the purpose of stopping the numerous lead-filled imports from China, and containing absolutely no exceptions, whatsoever, for any US based companies - whether as large as Wal-mart or as small as Sally Mae sewing children's dresses in her living room in front of the TV - has caused small time manufacturers to deem February 10th "National Bankruptcy  Day." 

This is the day when thousands - hundreds of thousands - of small time manufacturers and one-woman-wonders will be forced to close up shop because they are not able to afford to meet the new requirement: mandatory third-party lead testing. This issue is further intensified because even the products they have on hand, will go from being perfectly acceptable on February 9 to a hazardous substance on February 10. They will no longer even be allowed to make children's items for charity. 

Does everyone understand the ramifications of this? 

Think about the economic ramifications. 
1. Hundreds of thousands of small time manufacturers no longer selling products to supplement their family's income. Less income.
2. Hundreds of thousands of small time manufacturers no longer buying supplies. And some of these folks buy SUPPLIES. Less spending. 

I don't know much about economic matters, but I do know that less income + less spending = weaker economy. 

Let's think about the charitable ramifications. Crafters are some of the greatest donators of tangible, kind, helpful goods.  There are massive programs out there of thousands upon thousands of knitters and crocheters (this is one area I happen to know about) making baby blankets, booties, squares for afgans, hats, preemie clothing (a BIG group), and all of these charitable contributions will have to stop on February 10. Ladies will no longer be permitted to buy some yarn at Walmart, make a baby blanket,  and just give it to charity - who gives a "hazardous substance" to charity?

These ladies aren't out buying metal yarn, or taking it home and pumping pencil lead into it (yes, I know pencil lead is actually made of graphite, but you get my drift), they're sitting in front of the telly crocheting baby booties to sell on Etsy, or knitting a baby hat for "Cap for Kids." And in a month, that will all come to an end. 

This is a truly sad day for America.