Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Chiyo the Imaginative Mouse - Crochet Me

Chiyo the Imaginative Mouse - Crochet Me

My name is Chiyo. I am proud to say that I am a baby girl now. My mama says that I am born out of the pure spirit of a fairy mouse as I am so light. She says that I can fly like them. But how can I? I don't have wings.
I hear grown-ups say that baby mice don't think. (Giggles!) They don't know my mind.
Psst! Psst! I am on a secret mission! To fly to my friends in the fairy land. So, what, if I don't have wings? Balloons don't have wings either, but they fly. Let me ask them and see if they can help me.
Will you tell me how to fly, oh dear balloons?

Please go here to commnet, rate, share this pattern. Thanks

Monday, November 1, 2010

Call for a new leader:

Next month, the Hoarders Unite Team will be two years old. I hate to see it languish and fall into oblivion, but I just don't have the time to run it anymore. I am sorry that we have been so inactive as a group in recent months, and I have not had the time to rally the troops, as it were.

The economy has taken a toll on many Etsy shops and on time and energy reserves, but I am certain that this group could still be a viable and vital one that helps crafters find inspration when the craft hoard stash threatens to consume too much space.

If there is anybody out there who is willing to take it over and be the group leader for a time, or in perpetuity, please email me or message my on our Yahoo group forum and let me know.

Until then,

Happy Holidays to all!



Wednesday, August 11, 2010


I don't think we have had a challenge in awhile. Is anyone up for it? I think I can finally do something crafty. Last time I think I challenged you to get an art journal and do something or write something in it every day. I didn't do that challenge since I was in the process of moving away and had none of my craft/art supplies available.

Perhaps a challenge to ourselves is an idea. Something you've been putting off starting, something you don't like to do, what would you challenge yourself to do?

I challenge myself to finish the Christmas trees I started two years or was it three? years ago!!

Here's a photo of the trees in their half finished state...

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Stash Busting

I was inspired by the children. Some friends of ours visited recently, and their daughters are nine and 13. They are into the friendship bracelets that I used to make...ahem...over 20 years ago. The oldest had 12 bracelets on one arm and 13 on the other, but she didn't know how to make them! She was relying on friends to make them for her. She saw my box of embroidery floss skeins and asked what I do with them.
Well, I explained how embroidery works, and then I pulled out a friendship bracelet that I had begun a very long time ago and had never finished. I then used that start to refresh my memory of technique, and then I taught them both how to make a basic 1/2 chevron stripe bracelet.

I was so refreshed that I came home on Friday and made myself a bracelet and a necklace. I pulled out my stash of hemp twine and glass beads and have decided that, in addition to knitted items for Christmas, my younger recipients might also be sporting some handmade arm and neck embellishments.

This has been a hoard de-stash inspirational anecdote...


Saturday, July 17, 2010


Hello fellow Hoarders! I've been away for quite some time and have had no computer/Internet. So I've missed out on posting here and in my own personal blogs.

I've been living at the beach, Oregon Coast to be exact. We are renting a house there and I live there and hubby comes to stay on the weekends. Up til now he's had every Friday off so he arrives late on Thursday nights but now he has to work every other Friday so will arrive on Friday nights that week. I will miss having him there for that one day, but that's life!!

My crafting has been minimal, almost nil. I did make the wedding favors for our daughter's wedding, which was right there in the town where I am living. I put a sand dollar in a square of tulle and tied it with a ribbon. Each ribbon had a little square of ocean blue paper and a sticker with the bride and groom's name on it and the date of the wedding. That was June 26, 2010. The sand dollars were already boiled and clean. When I ran out of sand dollars I used several small seashells. They were a hit! 

I bought a sketch pad to doodle in, but drawing has never been my strong suit and I was not happy with the results of my efforts. I guess I'll stick to what I'm good at! Or think I'm good at, I guess!
I'm at home now in Eastern WA but going back to the beach house on Tuesday. I'll take some of my hoarded craft items because quite frankly, I'm having withdrawals! I want to make more cards. I used up a lot of my stash for the Spirit Jump Cards for Cancer event in April and have not replenished it. I've been buying cards to use to send to Spirit Jumpees. If you don't know about Spirit Jump, click here for the website and info about it: SPIRIT JUMP

So how has summer been treating you? Are you still working on crafty items and using your hoarded craft/sewing supplies? Or do you take the summer off and spend it traveling, picnicking, etc.? A lot of people start working on their Christmas items in July? Are you one of them?

Hopefully I'll be able to post again soon. I've made it very clear to hubby that I MUST have my computer and Internet access after being without for about 5 weeks...I'll be able to post some photos of the items I will be working on!! But for now, here are a few images you can snag for your own creations. They are from vintage cards which I scanned and uploaded. If you like these, let me know, I do have more.


Thursday, June 3, 2010


So glad to see all the comments on last week's post! I went over to the Flickr page but didn't add anything to it. Not yet, I'm just too busy to do anything artsy-crafty right now. Although I do need to finish a sweet charm bracelet I'm working on for my niece who graduates on the 12th.

My hugest or largest hoard is...

Bottle caps. Why, you say? When we moved here to our mfd. home in an adult park, I asked DH if I could decorate the side of the little building out back. That little building was like a blank canvas to me. At first I thought I would decorate it with vintage yard and/or garden tools. So I thought about that for awhile and awhile longer and then some more... I guess I didn't really want to do that or I would have started that project. 

Then one day I got the bright idea to decorate it with a mural...made of bottle caps. Pop bottle caps, milk jug caps, water bottle caps, etc. These are not normally recycled and I thought it would be a great "green" project as well. So I saved and saved and saved and all of my sisters, children, grandchildren and friends saved and saved and saved. I even told them I'd pay 1 penny per bottle cap so I could make it fun for the kids.

Now I have so many bottle caps that I can't possibly count all of them! My dilemma: we are moving away from our little mfd. home in the park! And I have all of those bottle caps, still. I haven't done my project yet. And now I won't do it here, but I still want to do some sort of a mural or design with it at some point in time, somewhere!

What is your largest stash? Make a comment to let us know! Is it unusual? Why did you start saving that particular item? How many do you have?

Wednesday, May 26, 2010


I try to be faithful about my writing assignment, i.e., to write a blog entry here every Wednesday. But I'm not feeling the love, people! Is anyone out there? I know Sinclair is around, she has a new job and she isn't able to check in as often as before. I know the attic elf was here two posts ago. Anyone else? I hope so. We have something good going here. What can we do to garner more interest or more participation? Any ideas, peeps?

We are supposed to be working on an art journal. I must admit that I ordered mine but I haven't used it yet. I was disappointed in the size for the cost, but no matter, I should have done something in it by now. Alas, I have an excuse, we are moving to the beach. Now if my muse is silent there I will be surprised! I've just been busy ordering pots and pans, silverware, dishes, etc., etc. (We're setting up another household.) And a daughter is getting married June 26th and I've been trying to find a dress to wear and I have favors to make. So I have excuses, I'm sure we all do. It's a busy time of year! Our gardens beckon, our children and grandchildren are playing spring sports, etc., etc.

So, let's see if we can make a comment here now and then, do a page in your art journal soon, and be thinking about how we can get more participation, etc.

HAPPY SPRING!! (I think it might finally be here.)

This is the view from the deck of our beach home. It is also the view from the living and dining areas and the master bedroom.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010


I love vintage costume jewelry. Actually, I love all jewelry~the good, the bad and the ugly~and it doesn't have to be costume. I just love jewelry. I have several books on the subject and just picked up another last weekend. This one is about plastic jewelry and though it is copyrighted quite some time ago, it helps in identification and is enjoyable to read. One can pick up these guides for a fraction of the price at second hand stores. Often times collectors will purchase a newer version and sell their older version. I have several up-to-date books for valuing and pricing but older ones help in identification and colors, etc.

Thumbing through the book I found a section about "pins," i.e., hatpins. I have a small collection of hatpins and two hatpin holders so I was interested in this section. I found it very interesting that a pin-making machine was invented in 1832 and after that pins became very popular. Prior to the invention of the pin-making machine, people were taxed to pay for the Queen's pins! Another anomaly was that if caught stealing a pin, a person would be hanged! Yikes! Pins were so treasured and valuable they were bequeathed in wills and could only be purchased on New Year's Day. Have you heard of "pin money?" Yep, hatpins.

I also learned that there is a difference between hatpins and hat pins. Hatpins are pins used to anchor a hat to a woman's head. A hat pin was a badge or type of ornament worn by men on their hats if they were a prominent man. When a man met another man, he could tell by the hat pin whether he was of lesser station than the other and would therefore tip his hat first.

Do you collect hatpins? You might be interested in the American Hatpin Society. Click the name and go to their website.

Are you worried about buying fakes? Learn from the American Hatpin Society about fakes by clicking here: article on fakes at American Hatpin Society.

Hatpins can be found on eBay but "buyer beware." According to the American Hatpin Society, 10% of all hatpins for sale on eBay are legitimate and 90% are fakes! Hatpins can also be found on Ruby Lane and other shopping sites with antique and/or vintage categories.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010


I received my journal in yesterday's mail but sadly did not start it yet. I had quite a busy day today! I may have purchased my journal "too small." I write in a journal frequently, not daily, but often. I've been doing it for years so this new challenge will be different for me. I have lots of journals but they all have lines so I ordered one on Etsy without lines.

Have you started yours? Have fun with it, that's what its all about, right?

(The design is from a Dover sample.)

Wednesday, May 5, 2010


I read blogs of others and read about what they did that day and usually there is something they did that is artful or crafty. And then there is me. I go along and don't do anything artsy or craftsy for days at a time and start to feel out of balance.  We haven't had a challenge for awhile. I remember we did have one after Christmas and another in February, I think. So it's time. 

My challenge to you is to get a journal with blank pages and a coil binding and doodle in it. Write down what ideas come to you. Cut pictures from magazines with colors you like, or flowers you like or pieces of artwork that inspire you. Glue them into the journal. Or use your markers and sketch something. Draw. Paint. Write. Fold. Do a little something in the journal every day, even if it is to write that you didn't have time to do something creative. And why. Or if your muse was silent, write that down.

Choose a journal in a size that won't sabotage you immediately, i.e., 11"x14" might be a little much for a "first timer" in art journaling. Or whatever it might be called. I think a 5"x7" might work for me this first time out. Set a time or a place to do it. Same time every day? Or fit it in where you can? Its up to you...

The size, the time of day, the medium, etc., are all up to you. You can share your work with us, or not! Share with us once in awhile, though. I'll give you a few days to get the journal or make one.

By May 19th lets each try to post a photo in our Yahoo groups of at least one page of the journal. Sinclair, can you make us an album for "Journal Pages, May 2010," please?  Thanks! 

Ready, Set, GO!!


Wednesday, April 21, 2010


I had been wanting to do some leaf rubbings for awhile but had to wait for spring! Here are the steps to doing the rubbings.

  • Select several leaves to use. They should be veined and have a lot of detail.
  • Select the paper to use. I used tracing vellum which came in tablet form.
  • You will need a paperweight and colored pencils or crayons.
  • Place the leaves under the vellum in any design that you would like.
  • Put the paperweight on the vellum where it will help keep the paper and leaves in place. I might suggest to tape the paper to the counter or tabletop to hold it in place. It tends to slip even with the paperweight and my other hand holding the paper down.
  • I used colored art pencils. Use the side of the pencil tip to do the broader parts and the tip to do the narrower parts. Gently rub the pencil across the leaf. You will get the feel for it. I had an eraser handy, too, to erase the color that went "out of the lines." As I did more, I got the hang of it.
  • Do not use the same leaf more than once. I did. I made a mess and some of the rubbings don't look as good as the others.
  • This was my first attempt, done on 8-1/2" x 11" vellum.
  • I used a red Japanese maple and a mauve colored pencil.
  • I tried a house plant leaf, an Angel Wing Begonia, it didn't work. It has too much moisture in the leaf.
  • I don't care for the rubbing of the leaf with a crayon. There isn't enough definition of the leaf veins. I also prefer to use the darker colored art pencils.

What to do with the final product?

  • make a greeting card or a note card
  • frame it and hang it on the wall
  • make a calendar using different leaf rubbings for each month

I clearly need more practice before I do anything with the rubbings.

I don't know what the other leaves are. One was on a flowering plant which showed up in our flower bed voluntarily. The other was just a leafy plant which also just happened to show up.

Have fun making your rubbings and be sure to let me know how they turned out.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Handmade Marketplace Sites

I have shared this post on my personal blog, but also thought it would be a good fit here. Though Hoarders Unite originated as an Etsy Street Team, I do not feel that we are in any way limited only to Etsy. I want to encourage members of the team to sell wherever they choose (or not to sell at all) and know that they can still be a part of this group.

I thought I would create a post that will list all the handmade shopping sites I know about. As I find more, I will add them to this post, and share a permalink in the sidebar. So, here goes...

Handmade Marketplaces:
  1. 1000 Markets
  2. AnticGift (based in Turkey)
  3. Artfire
  4. Dawanda (based in Germany)
  5. Etsy
  6. Folksy (based in the UK...thanks GirlIndustries for this info!)
  7. Just For Keeps
  8. MadeIt (based in Australia)
  9. WinkElf
  10. Zibbet

Sites showcasing and indexing handmade items:

  1. CanaMade (featuring items made in Canada)
  2. Down the Handmade Path (featuring primitive folk arts and crafts)
  3. Handmade Product Marketplace (blog)
  4. Poppytalk Handmade (a monthly "street market" curated by Poppytalk)
  5. Try Handmade
Hybrid Sites:

  1. Bonanzle (handmade and commercial items)

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Wednesday, April 14, 2010


Hello fellow Hoarders. I have closed my two Etsy shops. Shocking...even to myself. I have an illness including chronic pain and cannot keep up with all the demands on the time when I am able to do things. Ever since we moved here three years ago, the house has been untidy. Piles of craft supplies, piles of things to sell, boxes here there and everywhere. Quite frankly, I'm tired of it. Tired of the house being untidy due to my projects and my inventory. The house is too small to store all of the above mentioned in proper closets or drawers. So, the decision, which I did not make lightly, was to get rid of the clutter, i.e., by closing the shops.

While I enjoyed every bit of having a shop, well 2 shops, online, I once again have reinvented myself and my priorities. It could also possibly have to do with the recent familial events which required me to be away from home for three weeks, one week at a time. I need to be feeling as good as I can to help my family when needed and not worry about closing and opening my shops so much. That's not good for business...

Another by product of this new outlook is that I will no longer a Hoarder be... I am being ruthless. Really ruthless. The charity shops will be loving me! I think I will spread it out and not give all to one particular shop. Help everyone instead of just one.

Therefore, I may no longer be a card toting member of Hoarders Unite but, I'm staying a member because :
  • Rome wasn't built in a day
  • I like you guys and want to stay in touch
  • I'm still going to buy on Etsy
  • And I might have withdrawals as I destash and need support, LOL!!
I must now apologize for this post being "all about me." 


Friday, April 9, 2010

Regarding Blogs and Removal of Same

I just deleted one of my blogs yesterday after printing it out. I remembered that Sandi made a post about not being able to delete her blog so thought I would post how to do it. One thing I have noticed is that we cannot block and delete or block and copy and I had been wanting to save the blog posts on a particular blog I have because it is "my book." So, wanting to preserve it, I hadn't deleted it yet.

Yesterday I signed on to the particular blog and printed the pages out, but it was a cumbersome job and wasteful because it printed out my posts but also every chapter that was printed printed out the heading and the sidebars, too. I think I should have gone to "edit blog posts" and printed from that. Maybe I would have printed only the post itself and not the extraneous stuff.

Then, after I printed all of it, still in the layout portion of that particular blog, i.e., the one I want to delete, I chose "settings." On the settings page there is a line at the top that asks "export" "import" and "delete." I chose delete and voila! My blog is now gone.

I hope this helps anyone who wants to delete their BLOGSPOT blog.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010


I am still working on my "destash" and "downsizing" goals. Maybe I will be forever! But I've decided that there is one thing that can help me achieve my goals sooner. I can say "No, thank you," when someone asks if I want a bunch of craft supplies! I don't do that, never have done that, have always been happy to accept whatever was given to me.  Most recently I was given lots and lots and lots of wooden craft items. Included were thread spools, flat hearts, round balls in different sizes, big spools, little spools, and who knows what all. I just took them and put them in the workroom. They are still there, in a box on the floor, and on the window sill in jars. They will soon become the property of my youngest sister who has a whole barn for her hoards and stashes!

I don't use wood that much. I have used it in the past, and maybe someday I will again, but there is no sense for me to keep all these pieces that I may  never use. I have priorities in what I like to use in my arts and crafts and the wooden things are way down on the list. So they will be given away. And I will think twice before accepting miscellaneous items in the future. My challenge...

Will it work for you?

Sunday, March 28, 2010

More Signs of Spring

Adding to Nancy's great finds, here are a few of my favourites from the Hoarders Unite Team that remind me of spring.

Lace heart original drawing from I Dream in Ink


A religious ornament from NoelBelles


Lampwork beads from Julie's Little Bits


embellished paperweight by Blueberry Manor


Sunday, March 21, 2010

Labels Anyone?
A few weeks ago, I described the terrific auction lot of sewing notions that I won for next to nothing. Well, included in that stash was a little bag of more than 100 clothing labels. All had been carefully removed, and many were from men’s clothing.

Not knowing what I might be able to do with them, I threw them in the wastebasket.

Less than an hour later, I retrieved them. I thought, if someone had gone to all the bother to remove and save them, there must be a project there somewhere! So, I carefully washed and ironed the lot of them, and started thinking about projects. I wish I could talk to whoever was saving them, to know what she had in mind, because I’m at a bit of a loss.

I did come up with one really cute use – what a great embellishment for little doll jeans!

If you have some ideas about how the rest could be used, I'd love to hear them!

This must confirm my membership in the Hoarders Unite group - not only can I not get rid of any of my own stash, now it seems I can’t get rid of someone else’s stash either!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010


I thought it would be fun to feature some spring colored items from the Hoarders Unite Team.

This is a bracelet by Juliesparklybits. Very pretty, Julie. I love the soft colors and I love the look of having so many items on the bracelet.

Here is a clothespin bag from GenevaDesigns. So colorful and with cute mushrooms all over it. I used to love hanging the clothes out to dry. Now I don't have a place to do that. I remember how good the clothes smell after hanging out to dry.

MyInnerPrincess offers these beautiful hooks. I just love the colors! Gorgeous!                             


And here is a definite sign of spring, a lilac colored sundress! Could you make that in my size, please? This adorable dress made for an 18" doll comes from Whoaitsme.


Well, I had to add one of my things... It's a spring banner for your cubicle at work or ??? You decide. It is made with vintage cards. Oh, its in my shop, Nanalee.
This is a very springy card made by idreaminink. I'm sure we're all thinking about our flower pots and wondering if its too early to plant them. Nice card!
I hope you enjoyed the little romp through some of the items made by team members. If you'd like to see more, go to Etsy, do a search in the "buy" section and type in "hoarders-uniteteam." You'll find all kinds of goodies from our talented members!

PS~I've never been on a front page...sniff, sniff. But my congratulations to ALL who have! How awesome!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Front Page Club News

I have decided to do a post here every time a member makes the front page in 2010. Our own MadameTeasley of Le Boudoir Secret has done it again! Her Grandmother's China- enameled pink rose earrings were there on March 6 at 7:am.

I remember reading that she had changed her photo technique some time ago, and began using that wonderful script background in an effort to gain more exposure and sales. I think that strategy has worked well, and the script lends an elegance to the photo that really showcases the aesthetic value of her items.

Congratulations on your appearance in such a beautiful front page collection!



Monday, March 8, 2010

Etsy Front Page Club

Our team has hit a wonderful stride lately, with a growing number of front page features. I found the other day that we can now add ElephantWalk to that distinguished list of Etsy Front Pagers. Her Miniature Snow White Necklace made it to the front page on February 27.

The Etsy Front Page Club. Congratulations, ElephantWalk on becoming an honorary member of the club!

Get the screenshot from CraftCult if you want to share it on your own blog or web page.

Now, the question for the group is: How do we convert front pages and an explosion of shop views into SALES? This economy is tough, tough, tough, and it is an even bigger struggle to convert views to sales than in the past. We will explore this further in the coming months. Meanwhile, good luck to all team members on a higher sales year in 2010.