No Words Wednesday…



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Hidden Gems…Free Land Folk Art Signs

In my series titled Hidden Gems I would like to introduce you to Heather the owner of Free Land Folk Art Signs!!


Heather would you share with my readers a little bit about yourself and your Etsy shop.- My partner originally started on Etsy selling antique and vintage items she bought at auctions. I participated in this by going to the auctions with her and found it interesting but it just wasn’t my thing although I didn’t mind packing the items that were sold – this was my job lol. I made attempts at businesses before and I’ve always wanted to start my own business but just never could come up with something that truly was my passion. I originally started out with craft fairs selling Adirondack coat racks, calendar holders, etc., but found that not everyone loved the Adirondack style like we do and the audience was very limited. We are both big fans of the meaning of quotes and my partner looked at one of our stenciled signs one day and said “You can do this”! Although I had reservations about being able to make these I gave it a shot. Of course in the beginning it was a lot of trial and error as I taught myself how to make these without having to learn from someone else. I originally ordered the stencils on-line but this was a huge expense and I found that I was really limiting myself to what I can make unless i spent thousands of dollars for stencils. I did some research online and found a machine that was within our means and gave it a shot. Although, the machine I bought did not state that I would be able to use stencil material. I again did more research and was able to find a material that I could use that my machine would cut the stencils. Now, there is no limitation to what I can do and it’s such an awesome feeling. I have been selling on Etsy for over 2 years and hope to continue my business into retirement as I currently work a full-time job besides my Etsy business.


What first got you interested in your craft…
I was trying to find a way to make a little bit of extra income as well as find a hobby that I truly enjoyed as I’m the type of person that has a really hard time just sitting in front of the television.


Please describe your creative process…

I only use 100% solid knotty pine – 3/4″. With knotty pine there are imperfections in the wood as this is a soft wood. I sand each board down to alleviate many of the imprecations associated with the wood then stain the board twice, front and back. Although, there still may be imperfections with the wood, this just adds to the rustic look. I don’t like just staining the front side as I like the sign to look complete. After the staining has dried, I use a hand sander and eye sand around the edges of the sign to give it a nice rustic finished look. Then the stenciling fun begins! I use what’s called a dry brush technique. This is acquired by using a stencil brush with a very limited amount of paint on the brush, actually the brush is dry to the touch. This technique is very time-consuming as for each letter it takes several coats of paint to achieve the density you want. I like all of my signs to look full. Once the lettering has been competed, then I apply several coats of a matte finish to ensure a long life. The last part of the sign is attaching hangers to the back, which are 16″ on center.


Apart from creating things, what do you do…

I have worked for New York State for the past 32 years. I started working in one of the largest maximum security prisons in NYS – started when I was 19 years old and of course very naive! I spent a total of 18 years working for this prison then transferred to a State college where I worked for 8 years. My partner and I relocated and landed in the Central NY area where I am currently working for a Psychiatric Center for children. I work in the Human Resource Department and have various jobs. In my spare time, I LOVE making signs, this truly is my passion in life and I’m so grateful to have this for a hobby.


Where can people find you on the internet…

I currently sell on Etsy

I would like to thank Heather of Free Land Folk Art Signs for allowing me to share her shop and her creative mind!! Please take a few minutes to go and visit her shop and check out all her creations!!

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5 Spring Cleaning Tips

5 Spring Cleaning Tips to make this dreaded experience go as smoothly as possible!!!


It’s that time of year again….Spring Cleaning Time or as I say Scrub Clutter Trash, SCT!! Everyone in my home hates SCT, a time where I go crazy cleaning every inch of our home.


This year appears to be worse than most years.  With our current remodeling of our bathroom my house is extra messy. This of course is no fault of mine, it would be my husbands fault. When he works on a project he seems to drop whatever is in his hands wherever he wants. There are tools and parts all over my house. So I am getting anxious to get started!!

Also over the last 5 years I have had seen my sons slowly moving out to create a new life without me ….they are just so ungrateful leaving me in this messy house!! I am currently down to 2 sons and one of them is leaving in the fall.  Of course when they left me all alone they left behind large piles of stuff. So I have decided that after 5 years it was time to purge my home of their junk!!


This year my goal is to see my house lose some unwanted weight. Yes, I know the owner of the house could stand to lose some weight but that does not appear to be happening so instead  I would like to see a 20-40% drop in weight off my house!!


SCT can be one of the greatest reward filled events in your life.   Now I know some of are thinking she must be  insane because who actually likes to clean.  Not me!!! I would much rather do just about anything than cleaning….but having a clean house is such a wonderful feeling that women all over the world go through the process of SCT every Spring.

Here are some of my best tried and true tricks for making this years SCT a success with as little pitfalls as possible.

1. PLAN— First and foremost write-up a plan.  If you have no plan then you have no focus.  Without focus you can easily be swayed into prolonging the process or completely giving up. I write out my plan and let the family know what we are doing and when we are starting.

2. DIVIDE AND CONQUER— Do one room at a time.  Pick where you’ll start and complete that room before moving on to the next room.  Cleaning one room completely before moving on gives you the satisfaction of having one room in your home looking fantastic.

3. START AT THE TOP—  Always start at the top and work your way down.  Do the ceiling first and get all those cobwebs, then the walls, cupboards then finally floors.

4. BINS–Have three different bins labeled give away, throw away, and keep.  As you go through each room anything that is trash goes, anything that is still in good shape you should donate, and anything you have decided to keep goes into the labeled bin.

5. WORST COMES FIRST–Always start with the hardest room.  If you start with the hardest then SCT becomes easier as you progress through your home.  If you save the hardest for last you may become discouraged and  not want to finish the work and that would be tragic!!

c5*Disclaimer: This is not my home!! I just like to pretend!!

I hope this years SCT is a pleasant and quick project for all of my readers and I hope that some of these tips will help you accomplish your goals. Of course if they don’t work you can always get your husband and children to do it for you while you sit in a large Throne like chair barking out orders!!!


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No Words Wednesday…



My Gardens!!

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Hidden Gems…Nana Sewing Room

In my series titled Hidden Gems I would like to introduce you to Kathy the owner of  Nana Sewing Room!!


Patty would you share with my readers a little bit about yourself and your Etsy shop.

I am a wife, mom of 2 grown kids and a Nana to 5 whom I miss dearly and don’t get to spend nearly as much time with as I want to. I am from Northern Indiana, the Chicago suburbs and now live in Baltimore, MD. I started my store after much pushing from a coworker. Then when I was laid off from my job, I started sewing in earnest. I have always sewn but really enjoy making bags of all kinds. I really enjoy it when someone gets a big smile on their face when I give them a bag I made. I have made many quilts for family members and just recently began selling some quilts in my shop.


What first got you interested in your craft…

I learned to quilt from a coworker and my Mom. They both told me to not look at the whole quilt (that can be overwhelming) but just look at one square at a time. I really like the process from choosing fabric to the finished product. I can spend hours in my sewing room and totally forget the outside world exists!


Please describe your creative process…

I browse pintrest, craftsy and quilting magazines to get ideas and see different colors put together. I have so many projects in my head and just can’t sew fast enough to get them made.


Apart from creating things, what do you do…

I volunteer at a senior activity center 2 days a week serving lunch and playing games with the seniors. I volunteer 2 other days a week at a local hospital in the NICU rocking babies. Love, Love, Love the babies that just need a little extra human interaction when their Mom can’t be there for whatever the reason. That just makes my heart feel good.


Is there anything else you would like to share with us…

I love to make custom orders. Sewing and babies are my passion and love traveling back to Indiana and Illinois to visit with family whenever possible.


Where can people find you on the internet..

I would like to thank Kathy of Nana Sewing room for allowing me to share her shop and her creative mind!!

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Spring Where Are you???

I live in Michigan and I am desperate for SPRING!!!


I am tired of the snow, the cold, the dark and gloomy days, I want the bright sunny days of Spring!

I have tried many different ways to bring Spring into my life!!

I have crocheted a few mini cactus and painted their clay pots in bright Spring colors to bring to my window sill a Spring look. It didn’t work!!


I have colored glass bottles and jars in nice spring colors and bought some beautiful colored flowers to help bring Spring to my kitchen. It didn’t work!!


I have cut some pussy willow branches and forced them to bloom in hopes they would bring Spring into my family room. It didn’t work!!


I am doing a complete make over of my bathroom in hopes of bringing Spring, but the job is taking forever and I see no end in sight, and also now I am just suffering more with only one bathroom. It didn’t work!!


I painted a new painting for my new bathroom, purple Iris’ which look like Spring sitting on my Piano waiting for the bathroom to be finished. It didn’t work!!


I hung a branch in my studio and put some cute colored birds on the branches to try to  bring Spring into my studio. It didn’t work!!



So I guess I will give up on trying to bring Spring into my life.  I will watch while the rest of the snow finally melts. I will watch the sky and hope for sunshine.  I will look out the window at my flower beds looking for the first tulips to pop through the ground. I guess I will wait for Spring to come because nothing I did worked!!


What do you do to hurry Spring along?  What tricks work for you?Please share all your ideas to help bring Spring into your life!!

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History of Knitting…

The History of Knitting is a long and complicated story. This article will share a few of the highlights of that story!!


The origin of knitting is placed somewhere in the Middle East, from there it spread to Europe, and then to the Americas. The earliest known examples of knitting have been found in Egypt.

In America, the mid-nineteenth century saw the beginnings of knitting as a hobby. Printed patterns began to be produced, yarns began to be produced specifically for the domestic market.

1920….The 20’s saw a vast increase in the popularity of knit-wear in America.  Knit-wear , especially sweaters/pullover’s became essential part of the new fashions of the age for men, women and children.

The hardship experienced by many during the Great Depression  meant many turned to knitting through necessity. It was much cheaper to knit your own garments.  Some knitters took on part-time work, hand knitting for extra income.

1930…The 30’s also saw a rise in popularity of commercial knitting machine, which saw a large shift in consumers towards cheaper machine knitted products.

1940…From 1939-1945 there was a  “Make do and mend”  mentality during the war years. Wool was in very short supply,  women were encouraged to unpick old woolen items in order to re-use the wool.

1950-1960… After the war years, 50’s-60’s, knitting had a huge boost as greater colors and styles of yarn were introduced. Girls were taught to knit in school, as it was thought to be a useful skill, not just a hobby. In fact it was in this time period that I myself learned to knit at my Grandmothers knees!!


1980…The 80’s saw  a decline in popularity of knitting in the Western world. Sales of patterns and yarns slumped, as the craft was increasingly seen as old-fashioned and children were rarely taught to knit in school.

1990…By the late 90’s many of the supplier to the home knitting market had disappeared. Local wool shops supplying the same market had also suffered. but home knitting still had a strong and loyal following.

One of the most influential changes was the internet in enabling knitters to share advice, patterns and experience, but also it meant that home knitters had direct access to supplies rather being reliant on local sources. These trends have continued.

The 21st century has seen a resurgence of knitting. This resurgence can be noted in part to coincide with the general “Handmade Revolution”.

Natural fibers from animals, such as alpaca, angora, and merino, and plant fibers, chiefly cotton, have become easier and less costly to collect and process.

I am proud to say I am  part of this knitting history and am also a part of the new “Handmade Revolution”…Are you a part of this knitting history, this new “Handmade Revolution”? When did you learn to knit or crochet? Are  you one of the many proud knitters of the world!!!








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No Words Wednesday…


My Pussy Willows are opening….Spring is coming!!

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Hidden Gems…Pebble Creek Boutique

In my series titled Hidden Gems I would like to introduce you to Caroline and Julie the owners of Pebble Creek Boutique!!


This Mother and Daughter team started making jewelry several years ago. Both of them have always loved jewelry, and they especially loved making it for each other. Recently they decided to share their love with others, and made the decision to start a small business to sell their designs. Pebble Creek Boutique is where you will find jewelry made and designed by the both of them. It is their dream to one day be able to make and sell their jewelry full-time, but until then, they will keep learning new techniques and see where this journey takes them!

 Would you share with my readers a little bit about yourself and your Etsy shop.

Our shop is made up of a mother (Julie) and daughter (Caroline) duo. We have enjoyed crafting together for years, and it is one of our favorite ways to spend time together. After trying out jewelry making a few years ago, we realized how much we enjoyed designing pieces together. Our studio is our craft room in our house and we try to spend as much time creating as we can. We also hope to start a second shop selling our cards in the near future. We love paper as much as we love beads!


What first got you interested in your craft…

We first started making jewelry together a few years ago because we loved picking out beads at the craft store. After we learned the techniques and bought the right tools, we began making pieces for each other. Soon after that, we started making jewelry to give as gifts and share with our friends. After Caroline graduated college, we decided the time was right to start selling our creations.


Please describe your creative process…

Our favorite part of the creative process is picking out new beads… we can’t control ourselves! We sort our beads by material, and we love to play around with different combinations. It’s nice to have each other to bounce ideas off of, because we always end up with an end product that neither one of us would have come up with on our own. Since our schedules are so unpredictable, we create jewelry together whenever we are able.


Apart from creating things, what do you do…

Julie: I love spending time in my flower garden. I can’t wait for spring! I also started quilting about a year ago and I am working on my third quilt. I also like to spend time with my kids and grandchildren.
Caroline: I recently graduated college with Bachelor of Arts degrees in graphic design and electronic publishing. One of my favorite ways to express my creativity is through my graphic design work. I also enjoy reading, photography, and spending time with family.


Is there anything else you would like to share with us…

We are excited that our dream of creating together and sharing our designs with others has come true, and we look forward to where this journey will take us next. It is our hope that others enjoy our creations as much as we enjoy making them together.


Where can people find you on the internet…

I would like to thank Caroline and Julie of Pebble Creek Boutique for allowing me to share her shop and her creative minds!!

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5 Simple Tricks for Headache Relief

Do you suffer from migraines, stress headaches, or sinus headaches…if your answer is yes then these 5 simple tricks may help you get the relief you seek.

According to,

Migraines often occur for the first time in your teens or early 20’s. It is most common in the 30 to 40 age group. At least 90% of people with migraine experience a first attack before the age of 40. Generally it is true that migraine improves as we get into our 50’s and 60’s. Studies show 40% of people with migraine no longer have attacks by the age of 65. Before the menopause, three times as many women as men have migraine. After 60, when hormonal factors are less likely to play a role, twice as many women as men have migraine.

Many people suffer from migraines and headaches at one point or another in their life. The pain of a headache can make day-to-day life a miserable , and forces us to head straight for the aspirin.

Natural remedies for headaches may take a little bit more work but they are very cost-effective and they won’t wreak havoc on your body like other over-the-counter or prescription pain-killers do.

Here are 5  simple ways to reduce your headaches:

1. Drink Up:
Scientists have found that regularly sipping water can reduce the severity of headaches and migraines and help reduce the need for prescription medication.

2. Munch on Ginger Root: Ginger root, a natural alternative,  if you’re getting knocked with a migraine, it can help quell your nausea. Simply sip a nice steaming cup of ginger root tea and relax while you wait for your headache t subside.

3. Stretch and Relax:
Our lives are fast paced, busy, and filled with more than a little stress. Doing some simple yoga will get your mind focused, and stretch out your muscles. Just doing a few moves when the pain starts up can help.

4. Hot soak or shower:  One of the best ways to relax is in a hot/warm tub, or a hot shower.  Spending time soaking helps to relax your muscles in your brain and your body.

5. Hot Or Cold?  There’s evidence to support both hot and cold compress treatments. Applying something cold to the area can constrict those vessels and relieve some of the pressure causing the throbbing ache. When applying something hot to the area it can relax your muscles. You can use an eye pillow either heated up or cooled off to treat your aching head.

So the next time you feel a headache coming try these 5 simple tricks and see if you can stop that headache in its tracks. I hope all you headache suffers can find relief from your sufferings!

PicMonkey Collage


I have suffered from headaches and migraines for years. These 5 remedies are what usually work for me.  If I feel a headache  coming on first I start drinking water, and make a ginger tea to sip. Then I start a very simple routine of Yoga and stretching exercises. Next is a hot soak in the tub to relax myself. After all this I lay in a dark quite room with an eye mask on blocking out the light, then I use hot and cold compresses to get the relief I need. Rhonda…Black Raven Creations.





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