Friday, November 25, 2011

Holiday Time, November 2011

So here I was, on a blogging roll when this fabulous 10 day show popped up on my calendar of events. Ten days?!?! Low booth fees?!?! How could I not be there? Aahhhh, but how do I communicate this information to my local customers at the last minute? How do I tell my online customers that I'm having a sale to commemorate this awesome event? I could try phone calls or individual emails, but where does that fit into the production schedule?

Let me let you in on a secret, I recently discovered to handle this. Okay, not so recently discovered, at least not in the big scheme of things. I know you've seen those signs everywhere saying "TEXT _______ to _______ and receive ________". I know I have. I get text coupons from Cold Stone Creamery and Payless Shoe Source just for sending a code text to some random code. Great for big business, but what about us little guys (and gals) who want to do the same thing? Enter the WWW (world wide web, for you non computer geeks)!

I started researching services and found some serious information out there. Customer service runs the full gamut from basic "you-run-the-whole-thing" to ultra supreme "just-tell-us-and-we'll-make-it-happen-for-you". One of the companies I checked out is Textingly. Textingly is a online based text message software. It's like having instant messenger with all your customers at one time. Customers can respond to you and you get real feedback in real time. You manage the messages from your computer. Better yet, you can try the service for free....yes, that what I said, FREE.
Soooo, now you've seen the video, your interest is peaked and you're wondering what to do's easy. Try it out, click the link on my sidebar or the one right here and see for yourself how you can utilize the service. Me? I'm trying it out for my holiday specials, so if you want to find out what they are, email/convo me your cell phone number and you can get a second hand look at how it works. Don't worry, you can always opt out and never hear from me again, but what fun would that be (tee hee)?

Okay, so that's it for today's Fun with Music and Video. I know it's not Monday, but I promise I'll be back in full swing on Tuesday!

Happy Holidays and remember, we can celebrate Thanksgiving everyday of our lives by appreciating all the people and things we have around us.

Monday, November 21, 2011

November 21, 2011

Fun With Music and Video Monday

This week's video is a mini tutorial on miniature paper roses. I was looking for some cool ideas for my Valentine's Day gift boxes and came across this wonderful little idea. She makes it look all so easy. I can't wait to try them out. I'll be posting the trials next Monday for your critiques.

Friday, November 18, 2011

November 18, 2011

Friday is Talent Round-Up Day!

So let me introduce you to one of the men inside one of my favorite Etsy teams - the Promotional Frenzy Team. I first came across Martin while looking for balloon pictures for a treasury and I found this:
So I was pleasantly surprised when a few weeks later, I saw that Martin was a new member of the PFTeam.

Martin's shop is called GraphMagics. A cool shop full of acrylic and metal necklaces, brooches, pins and earrings in funky shapes, many of which evoke memories from my growing up years.

As a graphic design student Martin started experimenting design with different tools and materials. But he's not a limited artist. Not only does he play the guitar (music is one of his passions), he has been learning contact juggling and uses it to relax in his free time.

Hailing from the beautiful Buenos Aires, Martin has also been learning how to work with epoxy resin and polyester resin in many different ways. According to him, "This became more than a hobby, almost an obsession with shapes, colors, light, perfect roundness of my resin pieces. I dedicated a lot of time to it. I love spending all the afternoon paper-sanding and polishing pieces if they look perfect at night. Currently I am working on metal most of my time in my home studio."

Martin wants to share his creations and hopes people like it and get inspired by them. So I was inspired to put Martin to the ABC test. I asked him to choose several random letters from the alphabet and use them to describe himself (yes, a short version of the The ABCs of Me). Here's what he came up with (in random order):

M - Musician, J - Juggler, I - Independent, G - Graphic Designer, S - Skater,
G - Guitarrist, R - Resin Crafter, A - Artistic, D - Drummer, T - Twenty Three Years Old,
D - Dog Lover, S - Shower Singer, M - Metal Crafter

 He forgot one...F - Fantastic!!

Take a moment and drop by GraphMagics. I think you'll like (read LOVE) what you find there!

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Social Media Thursday

These awesome images are from my Pinterest "Breathless" board.

What makes you speechless...takes the breath from you simply because it's beautiful, fantastical, inspiring....What makes your mouth drop open and your eyes open wide, like you did when you were a small child seeing holiday lights for the first time.....What makes you reach out, unconsciously, and hold his/her hand, so that you know someone special is sharing a special moment with you....What makes you....Breathless?

Pinterest is a great place to indulge your ultimate wish list. Go shopping, find a new book, read a blog, try something new, find a recipe...whatever. It's all there waiting to be pinned!

November 16, 2011

It's Wednesday! It's Wednesday! That means it's
Anything Can Happen Day!

 So what’s going to happen today? Hmm, I think it’s going to be about…


What is clean eating? Well, it’s not making sure your hands are washed before you eat, although that is important as well. Clean eating is about eating foods as close to their natural state as possible (known as “whole foods”). So basically, we’re talking fresh, fresh, fresh. Fruits and veggies, whole grains and lean proteins. No box ‘mac and cheese’, canned/tinned ‘beef stew’, real butter, not margarine. Clean eating is a Way of Eating, not a “DIET” like say Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig, South Beach or Dukkan. In fact (or at least my experienced opinion) the best approach to South Beach and Dukkan is to eat whole foods or eat cleanly while applying their eating plans to your weight loss goal. 

According to, there are five steps to Clean Eating --

Step 1
"Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables. Choose fresh, unprocessed foods over canned or processed products. Clean eating enthusiasts believe that we were meant to survive on fresh fruits and vegetables and that processing them reduces their nutritional value and fiber content and adds salt, fat, sugar and chemicals. Choose fruit instead of fruit juice and if you must pick a processed vegetable, frozen is always better than canned."

 Step 2
Balance protein and complex carbohydrates. Incorporate whole grains like brown rice or millet over processed grains. Eat lean meats, and choose organic or grass fed meats when possible as these foods are usually clean of pesticides, hormones and additives. Grill, broil or steam your meats rather than frying.
Step 3
Avoid sodas and high calorie, sugary drinks. Follow the tenant of clean eating that aims to remove added sugars from the diet. Choose water or tea for your beverages, or juice your own fruits and vegetables and enjoy them without added sugars or preservatives.
 Step 4
Trade bad fats for good fats. One of the most important aspects of clean eating is removing saturated fats from the diet. Lower your saturated fat intake by avoiding fast food, choosing lean cuts of meat and getting your fat calories from foods like nuts and fatty fish.
 Step 5
Eat several small meals to keep blood sugar stable and to avoid overeating. Choose snacks like nuts, low-fat or fat free dairy and fruits and vegetables. Note that some people who live a clean eating lifestyle don't eat dairy products while others adapt clean eating to a vegetarian lifestyle.
The photos included here are from Clean Eating Magazine's "Comfort Foods 2011" Special Issue. "With 101 nourishing, never-before-seen recipes, this book is your answer to the winter blues! Features include comforting 15-minute meals, simple slow-cooker recipes, revamped cheese classics and soups, stews & chilies."And they're so tasty, too!
 While we haven't made the total switch to clean eating, my little family is probably at 65% Clean. As the boys learn to prepare meals on the stove and in the oven, I add about 2% a month. Of course, with all things healthy, it can be expensive to eat clean. Clean Eating Magazine has loads of helpful items to make things easier to achieve your goals. Each issue (and available online for free) are shopping lists for the recipes in each issue and each issue includes a set of budget menus and a shopping lists for those as well!

Ain't life grand!?! Are you eating clean?

Resources for this information:,

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

November 15, 2011

Hello there and Hello Tuesday! The second day of a lovely week. I have two items that I'm posting today, both of which I found on other blogs that I follow. Since this is LL's Guide to Renewal - I guess I need to get back to the renewal part of the blog. First the ABC's of me - I thought this was a great way to get to know some things about someone. I saw this first on Edi Royer's blog, and decided to try it here.

The ABC’s of ME
A – aunt to 5 wonderful nephews, B – bargain hunter, C – choreographer,  
D – dancer/dance teacher, E – ex- tax preparer, F – forty something,  
G – God fearing, H – happy (much of the time), I – Internet addict, 
J –jelly beans (2nd favorite candy), K – kids (four of them), L – Lostlemonade
M – multi-tasker, N – Nerd for life,  
O – Operations Manager (for art shows/festivals),
P – popcorn (favorite snack food), Q – quiet, R – rebellious,  
S – sister (second oldest),
T – tinkerer, U – upbeat, V – violet (favorite color), W – Wii Player,
X – xenodochial (isn’t that a cool word? Means hospitable)
Y – yellow roses (favorite color to receive), Z – zealous

This was so much fun to do. I am a list maker as well, so this was a task right up my alley. Try it and let me know how it goes (you can post your link in the comments).

The second thing I borrowed is from She talks about personal progression and goal keeping. In this particular, she mentions a professor she had that required the students to daily chart their progress in each of five areas:

1. Spiritual - Examples: Reading Scriptures, Prayer, Meditation
2. Mental - Examples: Learning a new word, starting a new book, watching a documentary
3. Physical - Run a mile, Do 30 lunges, run the stadium steps, eat a healthy breakfast
4. Service - Call an old friend, find a way to get involved with community, volunteer
5. Other - Come up with something on your own, something you've been putting off

This was so simple and life changing to me, I have decided to adopt it into my own life (thanks, VS!). So last week, I added this plan to my Renewal process and here's what I've done so far this week.
  • 1. Spiritual - Meditated 10 minutes each day, returned to Women's Bible Study classes on Thursday.
  • 2. Mental - Read two new books, learned a new word (see X above)
  • 3. Physical - Added work out portion to Monday night dance class, walked 7 total miles this week
  • 4. Service - Involved in two fundraising activities with sons' schools (two schools)
  • 5. Other - Staying away from my bad habit (I'll tell more about that at later date)

I've set up a little bulletin board on the wall (right behind my trusty laptop) and I've added my ABC's and my Personal Progression Goals Overview List to it. It's my Daily Motivation Board and it's simply fabric covered foam core board with some bricbrac edging, double sided foam taped to the wall so that I can "push pin" and "thumb tack" and "post-it" everything I need to follow my path towards renewal.

So far, so good! I ended my week with a positive affirmation of things about me, a refreshed zeal and a positive attitude about the week ahead! 

How do you "re-new"? Any ideas that you use to keep yourself going on those days you don't quite feel like doing anything?

Monday, November 14, 2011

November 14, 2011

So many things going on this week, I decided to try a new trick for my blogs. What's the trick you ask? Okay, hold your breath, it's an amazing thing........"Plan My Blogs"! I know right, calm down, settle down over there in the back. Never in a million would have seen that one coming, right?

For you regular bloggers, I'm sure this is no world trade secret, this planning, but for me - goodness knows, I'm usually typing frantically, trying to decide on a topic at about 4am, bleary eyed and stumbly fingered. But no more! Or at least I'm gonna try for "No more".

If I come up with a suitable plan, which I think I have, this will ultimately make blogging not only easier but much more fun for me and hopefully interesting for you.

I'm still working out the kinks of this (what kinks, you say? I hear you scoffing in the background) but I tried it last week and it was cool and I'm going to do it again for the next two weeks. It should be a habit in no time and smoothly transition into part of my weekly "run-around-like-a-chicken-with-two-heads-where-one-head- is-cut-off-and-one-leg-has-a-bum-foot" routine. You don't know that routine? Really? You must not be a semi stay at home, trying to be self employed, mother of four (ages 21-15-13-6), with no car and multiple one....anyone? Alrighty then (big sigh)


So my first blog for the week is this one - obviously - and you'll just have to check back for the rest. I know you're thinking - Yeah, cause she doesn't have a plan. Hah, I do to - I'm taking my cues from the Original Mickey Mouse Club plan -
  • Mondays - Fun With Music                                                       (LL101) Fun with Music and Video
  • Tuesdays - Guest Star Day                                                        (LL101) Getting To Know Who
  • Wednesdays - Anything Can Happen Day                                 (LL101) Anything Can Happen
  • Thursdays - Circus Day                                                             (LL101) Social Media Day (Pinterest, Kaboodle, etc) 
  • Fridays - Talent Round-Up Day                                                (LL101) Formerly known as "Artist to Know"

So, now you that you tortured my plan from me, here is today's fab video -

Enjoy and see you tomorrow!

Friday, November 11, 2011

November 11, 2011

reprinted from

Motown and mistletoe: New festival seeks to re-create Detroit Christmas past

Published: Sunday, October 30, 2011, 3:31 AM     Updated: Monday, October 31, 2011, 11:13 AM


DETROIT — The magic of Detroit Christmas past is what event organizer Mark Loeb is trying to bring back with the city’s newest festival, the nine-day Christmas WonderFest, running Nov. 18-27.
From the time he was 7 or 8 years old, Loeb, 51, remembers where Christmas magic happened — and it was not the North Pole for his Ann Arbor-based family. It was downtown Detroit. As for many families at the time, the holiday tradition was an excursion to Hudson’s Department store, the Christmas mecca of its day.
“It was a completely overwhelming feeling, the lights everywhere, moving mechanical figures, trains running around,” Loeb said. “Everywhere you looked, there was motion and lights and everybody was having a good time.”
He hopes the new festival becomes part of Detroit Christmas future for each family that visits today.
“I want people to feel astounded, even people in their 50s to feel 7 again,” he said.
The new festival spans the period between the ceremonial lighting of the city’s Christmas tree in Campus Martius Park, and America’s Thanksgiving Day Parade weekend. The main feature will be the European-style Christmas markets featuring gifts from around the globe.
Those booths will be supplemented by live music, food and a “Motor City Market,” featuring Detroit-centric gifts. A giant Ferris wheel will dwarf Campus Martius park, home to the city’s official Christmas tree and an ice skating rink. A carousel and a “magic” elevator will transport children straight to the North Pole with special effects.
Magic for adults will come in the form of a traditional German beer garden where brews will be served in traditional boot-shaped mugs. There also will be mulled wine and roasted chestnuts. A Michigan twist on the European traditions will be the addition of a giant heated tent, Loeb said.
“In Christmas markets all over the world, the event is outdoors and people stay outdoors,” he said. “In Michigan, I’m not feeling the love for that yet.”
Organizers are working with the International Institute of Detroit to spotlight many countries with Christmas booths, food and gifts and to weave traditions of those countries in with the holiday traditions of the United States and the Midwest. While keeping “Christmas” in the name might be somewhat controversial, Loeb said, organizers wanted to establish a link to some 800 years of Christmas markets in Germany and elsewhere in Europe.
The establishment of such markets as a way to help spark a renaissance of downtown shopping was part of the plan when Campus Martius Park was created nearly a decade ago, Loeb said, but other improvements kept taking precedence. This seemed to be the year to make it happen, partly because several prominent businesses moved back to downtown, bringing back 200 stores spread across many buildings throughout downtown. This also seems to be the year of Detroit, Loeb believes, thanks in part to the feel-good Chrysler commercial that aired during the Super Bowl and the winning seasons of the city's sports teams.
Those who want to identify with Detroit will have their chance through the festival and available gifts. The Motor City Marketplace will give people a chance to “really show their colors,” Loeb said, through merchandise provided by a variety of city institutions, including the Henry Ford museum, Motown Museum, Pewabic Pottery, the Charles W. Wright Museum of African American History and the Detroit Historical Museum.
“For years, Detroit events were about bringing people downtown to show them they might want to come back,” Loeb said. “Now that they’re willing to go downtown, let’s get them exploring a little more, making them Detroiters again.”
The commercial and sports aren’t the only reasons for the downtown renaissance, said Renee Monforton, communications director of the Detroit Metro Convention and Visitors Bureau. There’s been a transformation of the riverfront with a new five-mile pedestrian walkway and, over the past few years, the addition of 2,000 new hotel rooms, three casinos and several new restaurants.
She’s excited about the timing of this festival, she said, because she, too, remembers the magic of Christmas in Detroit. As a young girl, she would get dressed up to go to Hudson’s with her family, then to Sanders for a hot fudge cream puff.
It’s great to kick the event off with the lighting of a tree she thinks will come to rival the one in Rockefeller Center and go through the America’s Thanksgiving Parade, this year themed “So Much to Believe In.”
“I think there’ll be a lot of people who remember how great it was to be here,” she said. “I’m really looking forward to it.”

Email Kim Schneider:

Thursday, November 10, 2011

November 10, 2011

51 Stops on a Treasure Map – Can you find all 51 Treasure Icons?

1. Trinkets N
Handmade Button, Crystal and Pearl Jewelry
Sewn items – baby, kitchen, home decor, holiday
Handmade Jewelry, Medicine Stones, Decorated Feathers
4. jQ jewelry
Gemstone Jewelry that is Classic … with an Edge
Intricate Handmade Jewelry of all styles for all tastes
Quilts & quilted things, cloth dolls, fabric postcards
7. Painted Memories By
Fine Art Note Cards and Prints
Colorful and Unique Sterling silver , Gold fill Jewelry with Genuine Gemstones and/or Polymer Clay
9.  Sunny
Crystal Tumblestones, Natural Gemtone Jewellery & Decoupage Cards plus a bit of Vintage Jewellery
10. Symbolic
Handmade Bath & Body – Lip balms, Sugar Scrubs, Handmade Soaps, Perfumes & more!
hair accessories, dog toys, baby gift sets, home decor, gift wrapping
12. Bijibijoux-
Handmade jewelry/ beads/ supplies -
Fine art and photography craft
Handmade Bead Dangle Drop Charm Sets and Trinity Brass Findings
Jewelry Making Supplies
15. Fair Lady
A Beading Boutique with vintage beads + components, Czech glass, gemstones, and custom made bead mixes
16. HollysFollyGlass
Fine and fun Lampwork Glass Beads by artist Holly Dare.
17. Glitterbird
Home decor and jewelry made from beautiful fused glass.
Beautiful crocheted afghans, accessories, and much more.
19. Camillescloset-
Handmade jewelery items.
Handmade Jewelry, Modern, Altered Art, Steampunk
21. Crystalphotography
Fine Art Photography Prints and Greeting Cards
Whimsical Crocheted and Knitted Baby Hats and more
23. Gabby’s
Handcrafted Quilts, Tablerunners, Wallhangings and Embroidered Gifts
24. CNJ
Contemporary Clay Jewelry and Home Decor
25. LostLemonade
Body Care Products made to cleanse, moisturize and soothe
Handcrafted Jewelry, PreMade Scrapbook Pages, Vintage Items and More
27. Ooh Leela!
Handmade dish towels and trendy accessories
Polymer Clay Creations, Trinkets, & Treasures with a Whimsical Feel
custom clothing, accessories and supplies
30. Ugly Duckling
Handmade glass beads, digital collage sheets, tutorials, and jewelry
Handcrafted jewelry and supplies with vintage soul
Handcrafted decorative wreaths
33. Greenhouse
Fused Glass Jewelry, Stained Glass Home Decor, and Handmade Cards and Tags
34. Five
All the supplies you need to create
35. TheMayFlower
Fun & Stylish Fashion Designs for Women
36. Something Wyrd-
Handcrafted jewelry and beaded charms
Greeting cards, scrapbooks, cupcake toppers, & festive banners
Hair Accessories, Feather headbands, and Hair ties
39. Mt Baldy Glassworks -
fused glass jewelry and home decore
Personalized, customized and Printable Invitations, tags, cards and more!
41. Turtlexiii -
Sterling Silver Jewelry with Swarovski Crystals and Pearls, Gemstones & more.
42. IsabellesAttic-
aprons, accessories, baby items and more
Artisan handmade lampwork beads, metal charms, and finished jewelry
Mixed media art, original aceo and zines.
45. Suzie
Original fine art paintings and prints
Artisan crafted beaded and wire wrapped jewelry, Jewish jewelry and accessories, wire beaded kippot
hand mixed spices, magnetic spice kits, cocktail sugars & margarita salts, organic popcorn, popcorn toppings & other treats
personalized gifts, accessories, and home decor
Peacock feather items, wedding items and items for newborns/children
50. nan gates
Fabric handbags, totes and accessories
Crocheted Clothing, Accessories and Gifts

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

November 9, 2011

Treasure Hunting!

In the spirit of "All Things Treasure Hunting", here is a little something to get you in the mood!

10 of the Best Treasure Hunt Movies!

Reprinted from Saturday, March 26 by Andrew Jett
Treasure hunt movies prove that there’s nothing better than a good adventure. Full of action, intrigue and danger at every turn, treasure hunt movies feature a climactic objective no other film genre can match.
1. “National Treasure.” Nicholas Cage became a bona fide action star with this treasure hunt movie. Cage plays a historian with a knack for solving puzzles. When he begins to unravel clues to a secret treasure dating back to the Revolutionary War, Cage has to steal the Declaration of Independence and use it as a map during his hunt.

2. “The Goonies.” If you can manage to suspend disbelief, this treasure hunt movie is full of campy, improbable fun. Sean Astin leads an ensemble cast of young misfits whose parents are in danger of losing their homes to foreclosure. Astin just happens to find an old pirate treasure map in his attic, and soon the cast is surrounded by booby traps on their subterranean hunt for the gold.  

3. “Sahara.” This treasure hunt movie stars Matthew McConaughey and Steve Zahn as treasure hunters in search of a Confederate boat stuffed with gold coins. Their quest eventually leads them to Africa, where they tangle with a power-hungry businessman.

4. “Romancing the Stone.” Michael Douglas was at his best in this treasure hunt movie. This film tells the story of a mysterious map that reveals the location of a priceless emerald in the jungles of Columbia. Danny DeVito also provides a hilarious performance as the bumbling antagonist to Douglas’ rugged hero.

CNJ Ceramics
5. “Raiders of the Lost Ark.” Likely the most beloved of all treasure hunt movies, this film introduced the world t Indiana Jones. Harrison Ford stars as the iconic hero in this first installment of the franchise, and there’s no shortage of action here. Ford spends the movie evading Nazis as he hunts for the ultimate treasure: the Ark of the Covenant.

6. “Three Kings.” In this strange and unique version of a treasure hunt movie, George Clooney, Mark Wahlberg and Ice Cube star as soldiers during the Gulf War. This film follows the trio as they hunt for hidden bunkers that are rumored to contain stolen gold bullion.

7. “Trespass." Bill Paxton stars as a fireman who gets tangled up with a street gang in this treasure hunt movie. While searching for a secret cache of treasure in an abandoned building, Paxton witnesses a gang murder by kingpin Ice-T. With his cover blown, Paxton must hunt for the gold as Ice-T and his gang chase him throughout the building.

8. “Jewel of the Nile.” As the sequel to the successful film “Romancing the Stone,” this treasure hunt movie already had a winning formula. Former adversaries Michael Douglas and Danny DeVito team up to find a valuable jewel in the African desert, dodging shady characters and spine-tingling danger throughout their hunt.

9. “The Deep.” Once you get past the jaw-dropping opening scenes courtesy of Jacqueline Bisset, this film is one of the more interesting treasure hunt movies you’ll find. Nick Nolte stars alongside Bisset as a novice treasure hunter who stumbles upon an old Spanish medallion. Their hunt for the medallion’s origin leads them to a shipwreck off the coast of Bermuda, where they acquire the attention of a dangerous local drug kingpin.

10. “City Slickers II: The Legend Of Curly’s Gold.” Probably the least appreciated of all treasure hunt movies, this sequel took a different direction than the original. Billy Crystal stars as a middle-aged father out for one more adventure. He finds it in the form of a treasure map hidden inside a cowboy hat. With his friends in tow, Crystal embarks on an epic hunt for gold in the desert o the American Southwest.