Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Two Special Gifts...



from special friends this past Christmas...one, handmade by a talented knitter, and another, put together by a creative friend. Cathy, of "ZigZagStitches", and knitter extraordinaire, knit this beautiful cowl out of her handspun yarn. So cozy, warm and beautiful!
....and Carol stopped by with this gift....and I will be using the idea for this many times in the future! The gift of handmade treats, served up in a huge wine glass, along with a bottle of wine, and two magazines with which to "catch up" on the year's celebrity gossip, and some fashion ideas, make this a perfect gift for friends. (stop reading this if you are on my list....I want you to think that this was MY idea!)

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Blog-i-versary!

....a whole year! And, to celebrate, "Nun of a Kind" is offering a "blog-i-versary" special! When ordering multiple orders of the "Sisters" at the "Etsy" site, a special offer has been extended for the month of January! Time to "stock up" for all of those special "sisters" in your life!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

What a difference....

a day makes! After having one of the dreariest (in terms of weather!) of Christmas days, due to a day long rain and overcast skies, this December 26th finds us in the midst of a beautiful sunny day....with no snow! Just something about a sunny day that lifts the spirits in general!
Pictured here is a special order as a gift for a young lady who was actually entering the convent to become a nun. Obviously, the person who ordered this gift knew this young lady to have a bright disposition, and specifically asked for the "sun" to be shining above....
Enjoy your day....sunny or not!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

A Special Elf...


included "Nun of a Kind" in his/her plans to surprise a friend for Christmas. I love special orders and this one was so much fun of which to be a part! The recipient of said gift had always wanted a nun doll as a child....and, alas, never did receive one. Thanks to a very special friend, she now has a "Sister Gloria in Excelsis Deo", which was modified to fit in size-wise with her collection of "Byer's Choice" carollers. While constructing this special "sister", I was able to use some "Byers" type carolers which I own to try to get a more suitable size. The person who commissioned the project did have the facts straight, though, estimating a 13-inch size as the best "match". To add to the suspense of the mystery gift, the customer sent a letter which I transcribed onto a gift tag to send along with "Sister Gloria". The only thing that could have made this whole situation better would be to have been a "fly on the wall" when the recipient opened the package only to discover that Santa was, at long last, granting her Christmas wish!
I know that I will be kept up to date as to whether or not the identity of the "giver" is discovered. I also know that this person was a great friend to think of such a gift, researching as to where one might find a gift like this, and to follow through with all of the wonderful details (like the letter!) ....and as for any hand that I had in this, I am thinking that Santa may want me to take a post in the workshop next year to create more "sister" gifts for special "Sisters"! (signing off now, and adjusting my elf ears......)

Monday, December 21, 2009

We (thankfully) Missed it!

....the huge storm that has hit the eastern coast with such wintry fury! Although it is frosty here, the streets for the most part are allowing for safe travel, which is so important at this time of year.
Now that I have "jinxed" it, I guess that we had better get the snowblower out, along with all of the winter apparel. More than our usual share of the "white stuff" last year, even though we typically do miss the brunt of most storms. Nothing like tempting fate, though, by announcing that we don't have much snow to cause the skies to open!
Safe travels to all during this holiday season....and hoping for a little "dusting" of snow for a white Christmas!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Introducing...a new "Sister"!

...and this is a "sister" who has been requested many times, and is finally joining the "order". "Sister Maida Block", the sister of two fellows who do income tax (you may have heard of them..."H" and "R"??), carries her nine patch of black and white that she has proudly assembled for a special quilt. Creating these "sisters" is, oddly enough, the reason that there was no quilt made by me for this year's quilt guild show....too busy spending time with these ladies in black and white!
Two of these special "sisters" are heading out to the buyer tomorrow, along with two other special orders which were more personalized. Look for many more "sisters" to be announced during the upcoming year....

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Twas Two Weeks Before Christmas...

and all through the house.....not a single decoration!! The show that I did for six days has taken away the time that I usually use to get the house ready, and all of the "bins" of decorations that I have collected throughout the years remain untouched. So unlike this "sister"....however, some of the goods will make their way out in the next few days for a family event we are hosting....certainly not the same (dare I say!) excess of year's past, but a decent representation. That is the plan...however, there are some custom orders for the "sisters" still filtering in, and that has a way of changing all of my well-laid plans.
On that note, a new "sister" has been created...a picture to be posted later. Customers have been requesting a quilting "sister", and finally, one has been created, "Sister Maida Block".....two of this particular "sister" will be heading to good homes on Monday as special Christmas gifts. It seems no matter how many "Sisters" are in the existing group, there are always suggestions and requests for different ones that were not dreamed up yet. Look for more in the new year! Many more on the "to create" list!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

The Show experience!




Returned from the longest show I have ever attended, and, given that it was a first time experience, was very happy with the outcome, and with the response. Because I was exhibiting for the second half of the show, the "set up" for my booth was at 5 a.m. of the first day of my show. Thanks to two helpful "volunteers" (did I give them any choice??) we made our way to the venue and loaded up the stock on huge "dollies", and managed to get the items to the booth in two "runs".
The first photo shows the booth in the midst of construction, with some of the stock and display on the "dolly". Three heads are better than one at this early hour of the morning, and we managed to get the booth together in time for the 11:00 opening with an hour to spare, and spent that hour seeking anything with caffeine! The long day extended until close at 10:00 p.m. Even though the first day was a Tuesday, and not a typical "shopping day", the response to the "Sisters" was very favorable, and in addition to making customers laugh when they read the sign with all of the "sisters" names, the sales met my expectations, particularly for a first effort at the show. Cannot say enough good things about the organization, the treatment of the vendors, and the show in general. Definitely on my "to do" list for next year! Many thanks to Cathy, who weathered the whole show with me! Extra thanks also to Brenda, Ty, Jim, and Ted who helped so much get this "act" together!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Quotas....why do we make them???

Almost the time of the "big show", and still working like mad trying to meet quotas...my own, I might add, and let me tell you, they are always impossible numbers to meet. I would have to have a troup of elves in my workspace working day and night, wrenching 48 hours out of every day to meet "the impossible dream"! I think that I am the most difficult "boss" that I have ever had!
In addition to making sure that there are plenty of "sisters", etc. ready for this show, there is still a table skirt to be made, display pieces to organize, printing to be finished, etc. Some printing was ordered and saved me the trouble, and my very talented web designer did up some great signs for the booth, so that was a huge help! My "fairy godmother", Cathy, did her amazing applique for towels and aprons, along with other tasks. Not only that, but she is going to "do the show" with me, so let me tell you, all of the "Sisters" are blessing her over and over again!
....and that was my break! Back to production!!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

"Giveaway" from a great guild!


Taking a moment from the frantic sewing frenzy to mention a "giveaway" at the "Fun, Cute, and Whimsical Guild" website. Deb, from Deb's Cards, goes to great pains to put together people who create unique, fun items. She then organizes the "giveaways" from the people in the guild, and this month, it is a gift from "Nun of a Kind"!
The winner of this month's prize will receive a "Sister Mary Christmas" ornament trio! Check out the site to see how you can enter, and good luck!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Just a little "pick"...

from "Sister Meddie Kate"! The H1N1 vaccine has been a major source of controversy of late...whether or not to take the vaccine, and if you decide to take it, when WILL you be able to take it, etc. Who is getting it first, who "jumped the line", who is high-priority, what will the actual virus be like for most of us....the questions are many! Not sure what this "sister" will do when the time comes that the vaccine is available to the general public. Interested in comments that others may have regarding the subject...and wish that someone would tell me for sure what to do!! However, "Sister Meddie Kate" has the vaccine ready to go once it is allowed....roll up your sleeve...or not??

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Prize winner!

A few months ago, I announced a prize draw for those people leaving comments on the blog. To leave a comment, it is necessary to join "blogger.com", although that does not mean that you actually have to write a blog yourself. In any case, I had some emails on my website from people who wished to leave a comment, but could not. Instead, I had some lovely messages through the email. For that reason, when the next "contest" happens (which won't be for a while because of the planning for the BIG SHOW!) I will mention that you can either leave a comment on the blog, or email me directly at the site to be eligible.
All that to tell you that this last draw was was won by.....(drum roll, please!) "Sister Carmel Popcorn", (a.k.a. Joan!), who left a message or two this month on the site. Thanks to others who did so as well! Please watch for the next draw, which will likely be in the new year! If you DO leave a comment from now until the time of the next draw, a ballot will be given for the prize for next time! Love those comments!
"Sister Carmel Popcorn" will have her choice of "Sisters" from the site as her prize!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Drowning....

in a sea of black and white! Seriously, lots of plans to add new stuff to this blog, but right now, am trying to make my own personal quota for "the big show"! Bear with me while I try to cram in a year of preparation into six weeks!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Life is not fair....


when organizers of a craft show put you beside a chocolate vendor! During the past weekend, I met a lovely lady who had a wonderful display of delicious chocolate treats and even decadent chocolate-drizzled carmel popcorn! Needless to say, she just about sold out because not only was it delicious, but it was packaged so beautifully for gift-giving, etc. She had to go home and prepare more for the second day of the sale because she had so little stock after the first day!
Now, since I am a choco-holic, and always on some sort of program, you can imagine how difficult it was to stay away from that booth. (remember, she was very nice...I had to be friendly, after all!) "Nun the Less", the dieting "sister", had her hands full, trying to restrain me from visiting that booth too often!
Imagine my surprise, the first day, when a small bag of chocolate covered almonds (sugar free, I might add....), found their way into my booth, and eventually, all jumped into my mouth! A fairly good way to get some omega 3's, so all was not lost. The next day, though, when those dark chocolate covered cranberries did the same thing, well, what can I say except....dark chocolate is good for you, and cranberries are full of anti-oxidants! Thank goodness that this vendor was beside me that whole weekend....how else would I have kept up my vitamin intake?? :)

Monday, October 19, 2009

It's Official!

"Nun of a Kind" is exhibiting at the "One of a Kind" Christmas show in Toronto! The show takes place during an eleven day time period, from November 26th to December 6th. At the moment, "Nun of a Kind" will be there from Dec. 1st to Dec.6th (the second half of the show). However, there could be a change to the first five days of the show as the time gets closer. If you live near the Toronto area, and have never been to the show before, it really is an event you must attend....a true "feast for the eyes"! I usually go to this show as a customer and find many gifts for the holidays, plus usually a few gifts for myself!:) I can do a lot of "damage" in a one-day visit, so I hope that my own booth keeps me busy enough that I am not off spending too much in other booths! Seriously, this event is wonderful, and artisans from across Canada bring their fine work to this show each year. You would not be disappointed if you were to plan a little trip to attend the show.
Please check my website to keep up with any date changes as the time gets closer. Hope to see you there!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Had to Share....


the lovely feature that a great customer wrote about "The Sisterhood" on a website she writes with her writing partner. Susan had ordered some special "sisters" this past summer, and it has been such a pleasure emailing back and forth, and enjoying her blog. This writing duo have even written a cookbook, called "Keep the Table Laughing". Susan ordered this special sister for her writing partner, Meridith, and it seems as though the two of them had quite an education being taught by nuns...so they have "connected" with "Nun of a Kind"...(so lucky for me!)
    The great thing about having a website and selling all over the world is not only having little "bits" of oneself residing in places that perhaps one may never personally visit, but also meeting the interesting, talented people through these sales and conversations. It has been especially nice to meet Susan and Meridith!
   

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Sister Rita Story recommends....

the book by Julie Powell, "Julie and Julia". Read this in the summer, and crammed it in before heading to the movies to the see the film. Enjoyed the book a great deal, and was amazed at the complicated recipes that Julie tried to make each night in an attempt to go through each recipe in Julia Child's cookbook. Certainly not recipes for cholesterol problems, etc. but sounded divine (well, most of them!) to enjoy at a dinner party. 
   Julie wrote a blog about her adventures in the kitchen and experienced great expense in searching out the ingredients for these recipes. One of her blog readers suggested that she set up a "Paypal" button on her blog for readers to donate to her cause. What a great idea!!! I have some major expenses coming up for my business as well....perhaps I should do the same thing! Why, I would bet with all of my regular readers, with everyone contributing one dollar to my cause, why I could reach a grand total of.....$3.00!! Well, perhaps, I will leave this idea to Julie for whom it worked and who had a great following. In any case, enjoyed the book even though I like recipes that call for about four ingredients or less, or are those found on a menu! If you cook, you would especially enjoy this book.  
   The movie was not a disappointment, either. First of all, how could a movie starring Meryl Streep be a disappointment?? Never! And, Amy Adams was wonderful as well as "Julie". The movie included many details of the book, and was not one of those movies which strayed too far from the intent of the writer. Someday, even a cook wannabe like myself might try Julia's "Boeuf Bourgignon" recipe....but don't hold your breath! :)

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Merry Krismoose!

This little "blast from the past" creation is something that "started it all"! My good friend and I began our little craft business by creating many of these little fellows "back in the day". They were the mainstay of our booth, along with many little original ornaments, and we carted them from one show to another, creating walls of "krismoose" in our display. Curiously, it was usually the men in the crowd who loved to stop and have a second look....or buy them. Perhaps the Krismoose was a reminder of the one that "got away" on moose-hunting trips! 
     I still make a few for each show because there is usually some young person, striking out on their own, wishing to have a decoration that reminds them of home. Like everything else that is on the "back burner", I intend to bring a larger display of them someday! There are reindeer "parts" in various "to be continued" bins, along with all of the other "someday" projects.
   As I prepare to leave for my next show this weekend, I am reminded of those early days, with the moose and ornaments in tow, heading out in the wee hours of the morning for a show about three hours away. Everything in the van seemed to have a bell, so every little bump created "jingling" all the way! Thankfully, the Sisters traveling with me to the next show do not sport a single bell.....but I hope that they are praying for a successful show!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Introducing the shops of....




















Karen Gunna, of Karen Gunna Designs.  Karen shows her work through two websites, including an "Etsy" shop. Her bags are unique in their exclusive use of genuine leather and metal zippers. Lots of little compartments for storing all that we need to carry are also a trademark of Karen's work. Many of the styles are available in unique color combinations to suit personal preferences. She also creates a number of smaller items, like jewel pouches, and change purses at very reasonable prices for such long-wearing articles. To see Karen in person with her lovely collection of leather goods, be sure to visit the "One of a Kind" show and sale in Toronto this November and early December!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Take to the Heavens....


with "Sister Skye Ryder". Once upon a time, there was a special client "sister", who met a very handsome prince...I mean, pilot, who came into town to do a demonstration for a local event. This particular "sister" had the good fortune to meet this man, and have her photo taken with him. Wanting to mark the wonderful occasion, the lovely lady requested that a special "Sister" be created, perhaps with an orange airplane. Alas, this little plane could not be found, so the prize photo of the happy couple was printed in a smaller size, laminated for posterity, and "Sister Skye Ryder" sported an orange scarf to match that of the prince, I mean, pilot!
   And, if you would like a chance to see the sort of work that this pilot does, have a look at this video. 
I have a feeling that my good friend who finally received her own sister after ordering them for many of her friends, family, etc., has her special sister in full view....and that she watches this video often!! :)

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Activity in the "Sisterhood"....

has been brisk of late! Of course, doing all of the work that should have been done earlier in the year is part of the reason! The last shows, sales online, getting ready for another show or two....(or three...one pending!), and doing up some custom orders have made for a busy time indeed! I don't know when I found time to work full time before!
  However, all of this activity and my personal quota list has left me behind in my effort to blog...although I have lots of plans. Look for upcoming recipes from the kitchen of "Mother Souperior", and also some book selections from "Sister Rita Story"....
  So many ideas, so little time!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

"Sister" for a Day!

The annual "Art in the Park" show was held yesterday, and the weather could not have been better! It was a beautiful day to spend in the park, visiting with customers, and friends, and also for making the occasional sale! Many "Sisters" left the "order" yesterday, along with some of the other items created. All of the angst of preparing needed items to have enough for a show disappeared because, really, there is always enough, no matter how much time I think I needed to make more! 
   One of the features for the outdoor shows (which I have trimmed down to one show a year!)  is the gigantic nun that is propped on a garden trellis, not only to advertise the booth, but also to allow customers to be "a nun for a day". Lots of photos taken yesterday by visitors to the park, and thanks to cellphones these days, there was always a chance to capture the image. Thanks to "Sister Carol" for being the model for this shot!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

First Show of the Season...

...so needless to say, I am busy trying to meet my personal quotas! WAY behind on that, but as the weather cools, the nights get longer, and maybe a few rainy days thrown in here somewhere, I am sure that the next show will have more of what I had in mind. In addition to the "Sisters", I usually show a number of Santas, angels, snowfolk, and unique ornaments. The "Sisters" and I have been spending so much time together that the other characters are weaker in number this year! However, it is harder to concentrate on holiday items when summer is here! Hopefully, will post a picture of customers posing in the life-size nun cut-out I had made for shows....look for that next week!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

The Book Journal

Both "Sister Rita Story" and I love to read. In fact, the main attraction of the summer is spending time on the deck, enjoying many books that have been waiting to be read. Usually, I find that I have read too much and produced too little....this year is no exception!
  A lovely little library is very near my home...in fact, no more than a two-minute walk. That does not stop me from spending the grocery money on books, nor does it mean that I pay less for late fees for my overdue books. The stack of books waiting to be read is tall, no matter what the season.
   Occasionally, I find myself finding a book particularly familiar, only to find out half-way through the book that it was, in fact, one I had already read. Therefore, about five years ago, I started a "book journal"....which was a great idea for writing a little synopsis of the book, and giving it my own personal "rating". The only problem was, I found, that it was not in alphabetical order....so I started reading another pre-read book today because I did not notice the title in the journal. Finally, I began making a list of books read according to author. Perhaps this will keep me from re-reading the same book more than once, although I am great at predicting outcomes in the plot when this happens! :)

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

This Month's Winner...

of the draw for the "Fullabean" Angel is Sue from Barton's Originals. She received this prize through posting comments on the site through the month of August. Thanks to Sue and others who took the time to do so!
  A draw for another item from "Nun of a Kind" (to be announced) will take place at the end of October. To have your name entered in the draw, simply comment on any blog entry posted here this month and throughout September. No limit to the entries, so comment often and increase your chances!
  

Monday, August 31, 2009

Luck of the Draw!!

I received wonderful news the other day! I was the winner in Canadian Rockies' newsletter giveaway! Nathalie, from Canadian Rockies, offered this lovely "Anora" chainmaille necklace as the prize given on her birthday! Out of all of the readers who subscribed to her awesome newsletter , I was the lucky winner!! I will be looking forward to receiving this lovely necklace and wearing it often...and telling everyone of my luck! Now, if that luck would just extend a little further...there are a few lottery tickets I haven't checked yet! This could just be the start! :)

Saturday, August 29, 2009

A Wonderful Email Message....

arrived today from a very dear friend. This special message sums up the philosophy of the "Sisterhood" in general....appreciating the special women in our lives, and knowing their importance. Read, and enjoy.....
    Thanks, Joan!
 

A young wife sat on a sofa on a hot humid day, drinking iced tea and visiting with her Mother.

 

As they talked about life, about marriage, about the responsibilities of life and the obligations of adulthood, the mother clinked the ice cubes in her glass thoughtfully and turned a clear, sober glance upon her daughter

 

"Don't forget your Sisters,' she advised, swirling the tea leaves to the bottom of her glass. 'They'll be more important as you get older. No matter how much you love your husband, no matter how much you love the children you may have, you are still going to need Sisters. Remember to go places with them now and then; do things with them.'

 

'Remember that 'Sisters' means ALL the women... your girlfriends, your daughters, and all your other women relatives too. 'You'll need other women.  Women always do.'

 

What a funny piece of advice!' the young woman thought. Haven't I just gotten married? Haven't I just joined the couple-world? I'm now a married woman, for goodness sake! A grownup! Surely my husband and the family we may start will be all I need to make my life worthwhile!'

 

But she listened to her Mother. She kept contact with her Sisters and made more women friends each year. As the years tumbled by, one after another, she gradually came to understand that her Mom really knew what she was talking about. As time and nature work their changes and their mysteries upon a woman, Sisters are the mainstays of her life.

 

After more than 50 years of living in this world, here is what I've learned:

 

THIS SAYS IT ALL:

 

Time passes.

 

Life happens.

 

Distance separates.

 

Children grow up.

 

Jobs come and go.

 

Love waxes and wanes.

 

Men don't do what they're supposed to do.

 

Hearts break.

 

Parents die.

 

Colleagues forget favors.

 

Careers end.

 

BUT.........

 

Sisters are there, no matter how much time and how many miles are between you. A girl friend is never farther away than needing her can reach.

 

When you have to walk that lonesome valley and you have to walk it by yourself, the women in your life will be on the valley's rim, cheering you on, praying for you, pulling for you, intervening on your behalf, and waiting with open arms at the valley's end.

 

Sometimes, they will even break the rules and walk beside you...Or come in and carry you out.

 

Girlfriends, daughters, granddaughters, A daughters-in-law, sisters, sisters-in-law, Mothers, Grandmothers, aunties, nieces, cousins, and extended family, all bless our life!

 

The world wouldn't be the same without women, and neither would I. When we began this adventure called womanhood, we had no idea of the incredible joys or sorrows that lay ahead. Nor did we know how much we would need each other.

 

Every day, we need each other still.  There are more than twenty angels in this world. Ten are peacefully sleeping on clouds. Nine are playing. And one is reading her email at this moment.

 

Happy days!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Sorting things out!

For the past two lovely days, I have been trying to "sort out" my workroom. Sadly, the photo that you see here is not my workroom. Would that it would be so organized and lovely. Just look at how organized and neat this is! A dream come true for me to be this "together"!
   However, I recently purchased the most wonderful shelf unit which is technically a "sorter", with 36 "bins" with labels, and which are on a slant so everything can be viewed for easy selection. Every "nun" trim is now in a bin, about to be labelled, and in theory, should make my life easier as I am in "full production" for the season ahead. I also found out all of the trims I never need to purchase again, because in sorting things out, realized that some items would be purchased just because I couldn't find the other ones! The zip-loc baggies in a bin were just not solving the problem.
  And as for this photo, courtesy of "Flickr", I had to download it as a dream of what could be....

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Bad Hair Day!

I can totally understand the "habit" thing when it comes to hair. There was certainly wisdom in thinking out this garb when it comes to female vanity. (even though it was quite the opposite in the true intention of the veil!) 
  "Sister Curlotta", although an excellent hairstylist herself, has witnessed several bad cuts, colors, perms (yikes!), etc.  How many "sisters" haven't come home from an appointment wishing that they could wear a hat for the next three weeks while the color tones down, the "perm" relaxes (thank goodness the perm days are over!), or the cut grows out a bit. Add to that the fact that we usually smile and thank the stylist and even tip them for the service rendered. The news of a good hairstylist spreads like wildfire in a community, and one is almost afraid to share the name because it makes getting an appointment very difficult! It seems we always want the type of hair that we don't have. Making a stylist laugh while you show her a picture of the desired look is also a "heads up" that perhaps you don't have the hair type, thickness, etc.  Bad sign. 
   So thank goodness for hats, bandannas, hairbands, anything that we can do to hide the occasional bad result from a trip to the salon....but wanting to wear a nun's habit for that reason alone probably means that you don't have a "calling"! 
  

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Fun, Cute, and Whimsical Guild!

The "Fun, Cute, and Whimsical Guild" website is now live....thanks to Deb, from Deb's Cards, etc.
Deb has gathered a group of artisans from "Artfire", and hosts a blog and a website on our behalf. Not only is Deb a great graphic artist, but also has donated her time and talent to put together these two efforts on our behalf. Thanks, Deb! 
   Be sure to visit the site frequently, as there will be many giveaways sponsored by the members of the guild. Look for some ornaments from "Nun of a Kind" during the fall season as the giveaway at the site!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

A Blast from the Past!

This little fellow is a character which I started making several years ago when I first started attending craft shows. A little "barrel" of monkeys were part of the display, and the first items to go! Since then, I rarely make these unless a special baby gift is needed....they are not a part of my display at shows. A special little guy was made for my nephew, and his mother was delighted because she had no intention of sharing the one that was created for her over twenty years ago. There is just something endearing about a sock monkey! 
    One of my favorite artists at "Etsy" is Siansburys.  She creates wonderful sock monkeys which have such personalities all their own. Be sure to check out her shop to meet (and perhaps adopt!) one of her special creations. 
In the meantime, I will concentrate on trying to "catch up" with the baby gifts I need to complete by finishing a few of my own sock monkeys....very likely, these babes will have to settle for a nun!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

And for the Record...


Meet Sarah from "BBBenny and the Jet" at "Etsy!  Sarah says "painted mandalas on recycled vintage vinyls are my thing....well, pretty much anything to do with records is my thing!"
Shown here is a framed record, which has been painted called "Four Trees, Three Birds", and this can be displayed framed, as shown, or perched on a tack in the wall (note the handy hanging "hole" provided!! :), or on a plate rack, etc.  
  Sarah also makes jewelry from records....note the cuff made from a recycled vinyl record. You can purchase a tutorial to create your own cuffs from her site at "Etsy" as well.
  Now....I wonder what she will come up with for those obsolete CD's that we all have by now??

Monday, August 3, 2009

2009 World Science Fiction Convention!

    Some of the "Sisters" are going to be heading to Montreal tomorrow to be part of an exhibit for "The 2009 World Science Fiction Convention: Anticipation". Over 3000 enthusiastic fans will be there to attend this convention, and the "Sisters" will be exhibited with a great display of rare, first edition books, (some of them signed by the authors!) with the "Book Scouts". Attending this year's convention will be "Sister Petra Fyde", (who loves tales of horror), Sister Anne Droid, (who loves science-fiction), "Sister Waylan Howell", (again, with the horror, and sci-fi), and of course, "Sister Paige Turner", and "Sister Ivana Reed", the sisters who just love to read anything! 
   

Sunday, August 2, 2009

This Month's Giveaway!

This month's giveaway (to be drawn on August 30th), is a "Fullabean" angel, in a gold-starred fabric. This little angel can sit anywhere, thanks to her "beanbag" construction. The "Fullabean" line is a perennial favorite at the craft shows at which I exhibit during the upcoming season, and is available in many different fabrics, from traditional Christmas fabrics, to the neutral tones of cream and gold.
  To enter the draw, simply leave a comment and your "ballot" will automatically be eligible. No limits, so check in often!

Friday, July 31, 2009

Monthly Blog Giveaway!

This past month was the first month of a blog giveaway. Those who visited the site, and left a comment were eligible for a chance to win this month's prize. This month, it was for a "Sister" of your choice from the "Nun of a Kind" Collection. I am pleased to announce this month's winner! It is Beth from "Indie North"!  Beth will receive her special sister once she has a chance to make a decision! Thanks to all who made a comment during the month of July. The new giveaway begins tomorrow and the rules are the same. Simply leave a comment to receive your "ballot" for the draw! No limits throughout the month, so feel free to enter often. Also, if you would like to have one of your creations advertised as a giveaway on this blog, simply contact me through a comment, or through the website, and I would be glad to add these items to the monthly giveaways!
  For those readers in Canada, enjoy the long weekend! 

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Celebrating Survivors!

A very thoughtful daughter recently requested a special "Sister" to give her mother, who is a breast cancer survivor.  "Sister Bea Well" was created, and features her pink ribbon, to signify the road to a cure, and her bouquet of flowers, celebrating her personal victory. This new "Sister" will soon be added to the "Nun of a Kind" collection for purchase, and a portion of the sales will be directed to the "Breast Cancer Society of Canada". Each year, a donation is made from the sale of "Janet's Snowfolk", in memory of a dear friend. Hopefully, with donations and work towards the cure, we will be celebrating survivors in more and more cases!
   

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Two great blogs!

   Passing the award recently received (the "Bella Sinclair" award)  to two great blogs/sites (and two great people!!) to which I often refer and enjoy reading. The first is to Stacey at "Snug N Luv" designs. Stacey has many great quilt kits in her shop, and I had the good fortune to meet her at a local art event. Her kits for quilting are "ready to go" and contain great instructions. I purchased a quilt top kit for a black and white quilt (for the "sisters", don't you know!) which remains untouched in my sewing room. (however, it will get finished....someday!) She also has various patterns in her shop so that you can create your own items with fabrics you may already have. She is a great supporter of other shops and artisans! 
   Another blog which I would like to mention is that of "Indie North". Beth, the writer of this site, showcases Canadian artisans in particular, and it is wonderful to see so many emerging artists from here. Here, you will meet and be linked to many great shops, featuring items which are unique, and handmade. Beth truly deserves an award because she is so giving to those of us trying to get noticed in the "big sea" of handmade! Be sure to go through the former posts when viewing Beth's site to be introduced to featured artists. Thanks, Beth!!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Morning Walk....

   Although it has not been a typical summer here, it has been beautiful when I am out for my morning walk. This is the view that I am lucky enough to see every morning, at 6:30 a.m., I might add!  I walk with a good friend each morning, and since she is a "working girl", we must get our walk in early in the morning. Just as well, because if we leave it to the evening, a glass of wine on the deck just sounds like so much better an idea! 
   The upside of getting up that early, even if I don't have to, is that I squeeze in a little reading time before heading down to my workspace, where I spend the morning with the "sisters". I am ever so much more productive when following this schedule.....and one just has to be in a good mood about the day when you can see a sight like this one by the beach!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Interesting reading....

in a blog that I discovered through "Twitter". It is entitled "Margaret and Helen..Best friends for sixty years and counting"  Now, if they have been best friends for sixty years, one knows that they must be women of "a certain age". Although I am not American, I have enjoyed reading their posts about various issues in U.S. politics, and their candid opinions. They "tell it like it is", and their work is most entertaining to read. 
   Have a look, have a laugh, and here's hoping that we can all be as "with it" as these two women once we reach their age!
   Don't forget to leave a comment on any or all blog entries for the month of July for a chance to win the "sister" of your choice!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Introducing...Sister Iva Story, the author!

                                                                                                                                                                                  Sister Iva Story has joined the order of the "Nun of a Kind" collection! She is a writer extraordinaire, with a colorful imagination, despite her constant appearance in black and white! She is currently working on a book of "nun-fiction", and prays for a spot on the bestseller's list! 
    Although the idea for this sister has been "lurking" in my mind for quite a while, it was the request of a few clients that finally brought "Sister" into the fold!  Her main job as a gift to any writer would be that she will help keep away the dreaded "writer's block"!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

An award!


A lovely surprise from Sue at Barton's originals....she has bestowed upon me the "Bella Sinclair Award"! This award was created by Ces in honor of her friend, Bella Sinclair. Her thoughts....
"I designed this award to celebrate art in the blogs and to honor the value of friendship, sisterhood, sharing and caring. It is to be awarded to the gifted, accomplished, eloquent and talented blogger whose friendship and influence inspire us to do our best. That I named it after Bella Sinclair is because she epitomizes all of these things. She is an inspiration to many of us."
I thank Sue for thinking of me for this award! It is my duty now to pass along this award to some other blogs which I find deserving. Right now, I can think of so many, and of course, would always love to return the gift to Sue for her wonderful blog....stay tuned for my choices as I narrow them down!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Blog Prize Winners!

   The winners of the "Sister Mary Christmas" ornaments are Sue, from "Barton's Originals", Susan from "Reading Upside Down", and "Shazzabeth Creations".  Thank you for your comments, and letting me know about your favorite "Sister" from the "Nun of a Kind" collection!
   A new feature has been added to this blog....a monthly giveaway! This month's giveaway (to be drawn at the end of this month) is your choice of any "Sister" in the collection. Simply leave a comment for any (or all!) blog entries in that month, and earn a ballot for the draw!
   Good luck!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Airline Woes!

Sister Hedda Farr, the traveling sister, has had her share of unfortunate experiences and has had to deal with airlines, on occasion, for missing luggage. However, had to share with you the story of a fellow Canadian, who happened to notice his luggage, (his guitar, in particular), was being tossed about as it was loaded on the aircraft. He complained to the airline, but had little satisfaction with the situation, even though his precious guitar was damaged in the incident. Finally, he put his complaints to music, and featured a video on "You Tube". It has been viewed by over a million people by now, and yes, the airline has agreed to compensate him, and is even going to use the video in a training situation. 
   A musician I know very well has had unfortunate experiences with his guitar as "checked baggage" on his many flights, and now has a plan when his instrument is "flying" with him. The situation is certainly more serious than ordinary lost luggage, particularly if it is necessary for earning your living. However, losing all of my "stuff" for even a few days was bad enough! :)

Thursday, July 9, 2009

New "Sisters" custom-made....


One of the biggest challenges (and the most fun!) is to create a special "Sister" for someone who wishes to give one as a gift, or to commemorate someone. Incorporating ideas from the customer, and keeping in touch through email, etc., allows for the special touches needed for that item. Before actually completing the transaction, a series of digital photos is sent so that the customer can see if the newly created sister is appropriate, and perhaps, additional changes are made if need be. Recently, I have had two special orders....one for a woman who sounds very busy....an owner of a restaurant, who loves wine, carries a huge handbag loaded with her "essentials", and also follows various diets. Because this is a gift that has not yet been received, I will not post the picture at this point, but will tell you that the custom sister has a wine cork in her hands, her list of "Diets du jour", a sign from the restaurant, (thanks to a website), and a handbag which I created, and which appears to be filled with many objects. Fun to make up, and I hope that she enjoys her gift...
   The second sister is a skipping nun, made in memory of an actual nun who did enjoy skipping. The rope is wired, as are the arms, to allow for flexibility and posing. This "Sister" bears the name of the lady who inspired this custom work.
   Many of the "Sisters" pictured in the website  started out as a custom sister....someone needing a gift for their hairdresser, their massage therapist, an actress, etc.  Most of the fun is in creating the name, which usually involves puns. So, as my friends do, when we are chatting about new additions to the "order", put your "thinking caps" on, and see how many crazy names/concepts you manage to create! Would love to hear your ideas, and maybe create that special sister for you!

Friday, July 3, 2009

A Little Giveaway....!

Each year, I make several "Sister Mary Christmas" ornaments, and am in the midst of preparing a supply for the upcoming shows. This ornament was the very first of the "Nun of a Kind" Collection, and was prepared as a Christmas gift for some of my son's teachers. The school had been involved with various musicals, and one of them was a rendition of "Sister Act".  Since then, this little ornament has graced many a tree, and last year, during the pre-Christmas season, customers were ordering them "en masse". (whoops, Catholic pun there!) 
    If you would like to be one of the three people to whom I send an early ornament, simply leave me a comment on this blog, mentioning which "sister" of the "Nun of a Kind" collection (here is the website!) is your favorite. The selection will be made next Wednesday, July 8th! Winning even one little ornament is better than.....nun!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Happy Canada Day!!

Canada is having a birthday today!! This country is 142 years old today....and sad to say, I remember celebrating the 100th anniversary! Good thing that the country is getting older and I am not!
   So, from the patriotic "Sister", "I am Canadi-nun!", Happy Canada today to all! May the rain hold off until the parades are finished, the barbeques and other celebrations conclude, and the all-important fireworks displays occur!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Another Talented Artisan!!




   Because this "Sister" is always drawn to shiny, beautiful pieces of jewelry, I would like to introduce you to another "Etsy" shop....that of Studio 618
   Here you will find handmade modern jewelry, and Judaica, using traditional metalsmithing techniques. Gemstones that are used are hand selected by this artisan to ensure quality, and her work is guaranteed to please! She also does custom, "one of a kind" pieces!
   Pictured is a beautiful bookmark....what a wonderful gift for any reading enthusiast! The "clematis" bracelets also have a matching ring in her shop. The final piece is my favorite...this unique swirl ring, that may have to find its way into my personal collection someday! 
   
   

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Almost wordless almost Wednesday!

I found this photo from Shorpy.com and just had to share it. This is a photo of the photographer's five aunts, and all but one became nuns. Occasionally, I am asked to create a special "sister" for nuns celebrating special anniversaries, but it is rare that I am asked to create one for those entering the convent. As shown in this picture from "back in the day", it was quite an accepted practice that someone in a family would have a vocation for this calling....likely very rare that four people would! 

Friday, June 19, 2009

Introducing....the "Snoop" Sisters!

This past Christmas, a customer ordered ten special "Sisters" for her friends....each of these friends being an member of a group called "The Snoop Sisters". The sisters created were unique to each of these ladies, and were to carry a small magnifying glass in addition to their individual trims. Earlier this week, I was sent this delightful picture of most of the "Snoop Sisters" in their garb, and each carrying their special "sister". These fine ladies get together every year to participate in the "Relay for Life", a fundraiser for the Canadian Cancer Society. 
   The "Snoop Sisters" earned their name from their brother-in-law, Gary, because of a visit he made to a casino. He was spotted there by one of the girls, and word spread to the others in the group. Later on, when asked if he had won any money, he was dumbfounded as to how this information had become known. It occurred to him that one of the girls must have seen him, and he commented, "It must have been those darn "snoop sisters"! " The nickname "stuck", as the girls continued to "catch" this fellow in various incidents, and pass along the information!
   This year, the "Snoop Sisters" dedicated the first lap of their participation in the "Relay for Life" to Gary, who passed away this year after a 25 year battle with cancer. His original diagnosis was that he would have two years to live, and his survival for many years beyond that diagnosis was a result of his positive attitude and his strong will to live. 
   Thanks to the "Snoop Sisters" for allowing me to share their story, and the inspiration of a fun-loving man named Gary...
   
   
    

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Today's Mini-Mention!


    Today's mini-mention is a shop which I discovered earlier today on "Etsy"....WeeKnit...specializes in handmade finger puppets for children, teachers, etc. In this little shop, there are also book sets, with matching puppets. Nothing electronic here....just a chance for a child to use their imagination, while creating dialogues, and little plays. Nothing to break, no batteries needed, and no "built-in" noise! (it seems that ALL new toys make some sort of noise!) 
     In addition to the unique characters that have been created by the owners of "WeeKnit", the detail of these handmade little "folk" is amazing! 
  
  

Sunday, June 14, 2009

"Tag, You're it!"

Thanks to Shelley for her kind mention of this blog site in her entry recently. Shelley makes the most beautiful art bears, and has many other wonderful items besides bears in her shop! Do have a look at her blog to see examples of her work, and to read her interesting posts.
  As someone who has been "tagged", I am supposed to list seven things about myself, and then mention seven blogs. I will write one thing about myself, and ask you to comment with one item of interest about yourself....then I will add another, etc. 
   1. I would have loved to work in advertising like "Darren Stevens" in "Bewitched", coming up with slogans, jingles, etc. (just the fun stuff of advertising!!)
  As for blogs to "tag", I will just ask you to visit the blogs that I follow, listed to the right of this post. You will find some very interesting words/works from these fine folks!
  

Friday, June 12, 2009

Treasures of the Week!




    This "sister" loves anything shiny, and ornamental, particularly jewelry. Was so happy to discover a fellow Canadian, and "Etsian"....Nathalie from "Canadian Rockies". Her shop is filled with wonderful, unique creations....great accents for that special outfit or as gifts for the "sisters" in your life. 
   My favorite piece from Nathalie's shop are these silver earrings. I am certain that these will have to be one of those presents that I buy myself for some special occasion, like a Tuesday, for example. The turquoise "drop" earrings are unique and reflect Nathalie's attention to detail. The pendant is another coveted item on my "list"!
  If you visit the "Canadian Rockies" shop in the next few days, you will notice that there are many items on sale, as part of the "Etsy" "yart" sale. Enjoy having a look....but leave at least one of my favorites for me! :)