Aug 28, 2013

Fall & Winter Craft Shows!!

Hi friends!

These are the shows that I am currently planning on attending and where YOU can get your wooly, good natured fix!

Here is a bit more information on each:

September 7: Not So Square Arts Festival // 10:00-5:00 // 822 W. Mt. Verson Blvd, Mt. Vernon, MO // free admission // literary and musical entertainment

September 21 & 22: Cider Days on Historic Walnut Street // 10:00-5:00 each day // 900 E. Walnut Street, Springfield, MO // admission $4

September 28: Tulsa Mini Maker Faire // 11:00-7:00 // Guthrie Green, 111 East Brady Street, Tulsa, OK

November 2: Parents as Teachers Bazaar // 8:30-3:00 // Kickapoo High School, 3710 S Jefferson Ave, Springfield, MO

December 7: PTSA Arts & Crafts Show // 9:00-4:00 // Nixa Jr. High, 205 North St, Nixa, MO

You might remember me talking about the show I did in Kansas City, and how that was the farthest from home I've been to sell my wares?  As you can see, I'm branching out to Oklahoma next--watch out, Tulsa! I'm also considering applying for the Indie Emporium in Tulsa.  It's a two-day December show, and I'm trying to figure out if it's worth it with the travel and hotel costs. Have you been or know anyone who has?  I'd love to get some feedback about it.

I'm off to make a zombie chicken assembly line to stock up for these shows.  Will I see you at any of them?

Aug 26, 2013

52 Weeks of Felting - Week 34

Yup, it's Monday.  Sometimes you need a weekend-long break from the computer, and that's what happened for me, even though I finished this wool painting last Friday.

So, I did another version of a tulips wool painting.  (Remember this one?

I'll be back later this week with an update on upcoming shows where you can come get some Good Ntatured wool goodies!

Aug 21, 2013

About my wool...

I was running low on my core wool (the undyed wool that I use for the center of my felted goodies), and the busy craft show/holiday season is fast approaching, so I decided to place an order for four more pounds.  That doesn't sound like a lot of wool, but this is what it looks like:

Each bag is one pound.  So, in case you were curious about the supplies I use, this is a description directly from the website where I purchase my core wool:

A sustainably grown wool that's exceptionally clean of chemicals and pesticides.
This high quality, U.S.A grown wool is blended specifically for extra softness and resilience. 30% organic content.
1. PROPER GRAZING METHODS: Growers rotate pastures to prevent overgrazing and soil erosion. Proper grazing creates a higher quality wool and protects the health of the sheep.
2. PREDATOR FRIENDLY: Trained sheep dogs guard the flock. Natural predators are not poisoned, trapped, or shot.
3. HEALTHY VETERINARY PRACTICES: Only certain kinds of medications and supplements can be used to treat the sheep. Sheep raised in open pastures are healthier and require less vet care.
4. FIELDS PROTECTED FROM PESTICIDES: No use of herbicides and pesticides on fields where the sheep will be grazing. Wool is spot tested to ensure that no harmful chemicals have been used.
5. OPPOSE CHEMICAL PROCESSING OF THE WOOL: This wool is not carbonized (dipped in strong acid to dissolve residual matter), dipped (at many farms, sheep are dipped in pesticides), or bleached.
6. SHEEP FRIENDLY: Highly skilled shearing crews trained to shear the sheep with as much care and as harmlessly as possible.
Maybe one day, I'll have my own happy little flock of sheep!  Until then, I'm happy to know that these sheep are cared for responsibly.

Aug 19, 2013

Bits of my weekend

So last weekend seemed busy.  My husband and I tried a new(ish) restaurant here in Springfield called Cafe Cusco.  It's on the same street of the oh-so-famous Red Velvet shop by the gals of A Beautiful Mess.  The interior is so pretty, and I was impressed that the menu had some decent vegetarian options.  We each had their homemade black bean quinoa burger--it was really good! We'll definitely visit again!  After lunch, we walked down to the Askinosie Chocolate factory to grab a couple bars.  Askinosie can be found in lots of cities and countries now--if you can get your hands on a bar of this chocolate, it's worth the splurge.  Do it.

So after food, we made our way toward a HUGE antique auto parts swap meet.  Remember our new (to us) Volkswagen camper van?  We are looking for some original interior furniture for it.  We thought we'd at least give the swap meet a try.  (By the way, this photo is no indication of how big this swap meet was.)

We had no luck on finding furniture, but we did spot another VW camper van!  This one is a Westfalia, which is a slightly different model than ours. 

We also found a vendor that sold original literature and brochures.  We picked up a brochure about our '74 van and a sheet of original color swatches!

Last night, I also baked a bunch of goodies as a Thank You to the zookeepers that I work with for all of their help with my summer kids' classes.  I tend to be a bit messy in the kitchen.  In my defense, my kitchen is not set up well at all.  (Good excuse, right?) After witnessing and proclaiming all about my mess, my husband says, "Your next blog should be called a Cute Mess. You could take before, during and after pictures of the kitchen.  You know, because there might be stuff on the ceiling after you juice something, or chia seeds and quinoa EVERYWHERE.  And you can talk about how you mess up Tollhouse cookies, and how you once messed up mac and cheese."  Geez, honey.  Thanks....

Aug 18, 2013

52 Weeks of Felting - Week 33

Like Harry Potter?  I do! Which means I jumped at the chance to make this little guy!  He was a custom request from my shop!

I can just imagine the terrible wailing...

If you want one, you can find it here.  Happy weekend!

Aug 10, 2013

52 Weeks of Felting - Week 32

Happy Saturday, folks!  This week I made another felted wool "painting."  I probably won't put this one in the shop just yet.  I'm really trying to bulk up my inventory for the upcoming craft show season, which will be the biggest one yet for me.  But, if this really strikes your fancy, who am I to deny you something you want---just let me know! ;)

See you next week!

Aug 7, 2013

Fur, Feathers & Scales - Blue-tongued Skink

Hi friends!  Well, somehow it has been another month since my last Fur, Feathers & Scales post.  Today, I'd like to introduce you to this fantastic lizard:

This particular lizard is Buddy the blue-tongued skink.  These skinks are native to Australia, though we do have quite a few skinks here in the states. They have scaley reptile skin, but their scales are very fish-like in appearance and are just a bit bumpy.  I tell kids that they feel a little like corn on the cob!

They have very short legs, so they are not climbers.  Their large bodies and tiny legs give them a snake-like appearance.  They are also always sticking their tongues out like a snake. They spend a lot of their time hiding, sometimes in hollow logs or under debris on the ground.

So, why the blue tongue?  Whenever an animal is brightly colored (or has a brightly colored body part) it means they are either poisonous, venomous, or they taste bad...OR they are pretending and are trying to mimic another animal that does have one of those characteristics.  I've never tasted a skink, but I doubt they taste bad.  Blue-tongued skinks are using mimicry.  So, when they are threatened, they make themselves look bigger by puffing up their bodies. Then they open their mouths, stick their bright blue tongues out and hiss.  I don't know about you, but that's enough of a warning for me!

These lizards can be good pets, but do keep in mind that they can live a long time.  We had a blue-tongued skink at the zoo live to be twenty-three years old!  They are omnivores and eat insects, small vertebrates and vegetation.  On average, they can grow to be about one foot long.

Until next time!

Aug 3, 2013

52 Weeks of Felting - Week 31

Hi friends! So this project was not my idea.  This fabulous idea was a custom request from my shop.  I absolutely love the way it turned out!!  The giant pig is so cute in his tiny pen!

Should I offer this in my shop?  Of course, with this design, I can pretty much turn any full size felt animal into a pin cushion.  Love it!

Aug 1, 2013


Holy crap, guys. It's August. Usually, August is a slow month for me in the shop.  But this year, I've been accepted into Cider Days, a local Fall Arts and Crafts festival.  So, I'm transitioning from prepping for one craft show to another.  It seriously looks like I won't have a break from felting until January.  But you know what? I'm okay with that.

Running update:
I'm still trucking along.  Slowly but surely.  Some days are hard. Actually, a lot of days are hard.  And really, I'm understanding that running definitely takes a lot of mental fitness too.  I know my body can handle these runs, but dammit, sometimes I just don't want to.  On a related note, remember that tattoo jar I started back in February (the one where I add a dollar for every workout)?  It's getting pretty full...

Personal Stuff: 
My husband and I have toyed with the idea of buying a new place and owning more land.  We go back and forth about why we want or don't want to do this.  We've finally made the decision stay put and to do without some extra space (and make do with one bathroom like we have for seven years now...) for at least a few more years.  Our goal is to have our mortgage paid off in another three years--and that's exciting.  Of course, it will take some financial discipline--like I probably shouldn't go to Target tonight to get another maxi skirt...

Oh, and I have the travel bug again...that's nothing new really.  There are so many places I want to go. Though, jetting off to Europe (or the Caribbean, or New Zealand, or across the states) doesn't exactly bode well for the finances and the plan to pay off the mortgage early.  Maybe I really shouldn't go to Target...

Actually, since I'm feeling so rejuvenated, I'm thinking the money that I make in my shop and from upcoming craft shows will be saved specifically for a future vacation.  Or maybe that money should fund our Volkswagen project....

Maybe I'll just go buy a lottery ticket.