Wednesday, November 21, 2012

A Handmade Christmas

Every year, it seems retail stores are opening earlier and earlier on Black Friday. Now, some store will be open for part of Thanksgiving with doorbusters. Do you really lose that much money on Thanksgiving if you aren't open? What about the families of your employees who you are forcing to work on Thanksgiving at 8 pm? Never mind that these people can't have a drink during their meal, now they have to watch what they eat so they don't succumb to the food coma that is inevitable during big meals like Thanksgiving.

Black Friday has become increasingly dangerous if you choose to go out to the store to get that special gift for someone. Lack of sleep and adrenaline are lethal combinations in the wrong hands. I thought it was bad that some stores were opening at 4 am for doorbusters. Starbucks isn't even open that early! People get trampled when the doors open. Fights break out over the last "must have" toy. Employees are crabby because they didn't get enough sleep, so forget about customer service that day. I choose not to leave the house that day if I can help it. Might need to make a run to Joann's though, for some crafting supplies. If the apartment is clean.

I think we as consumers need to send a message to these retailers who choose to open at ungodly hours or on Thanksgiving in order to make another buck. This year, I am taking the handmade pledge. All the gifts I am giving this year will be handmade. I may not make them, but I know someone does. I'm not talking about tablets which are pieced together by hand in China. I'm talking about artisans on Artfire, Goodsmiths, HandmadeArtists, Etsy, and Copius, who make a product to sell. Instead of giving my money to a big retailer, I'm helping the small business owner or stay at home mom making a few extra dollars by selling crafts.

Will you join me?

I posed this question on Etsy earlier today, and more than a few people have already taken this pledge.

In need of gift ideas? For the men in your life, try a handmade tile coaster. Larry, the Coaster Man, makes wonderful coasters. I have one of his coasters and I'm going back to him this Christmas for gifts. Check out his shop:

Need a pet gift? Bax and Cat Co. ( makes organic cat toys. I'll be ordering from her this year.

Do you have a Twilight fan in your life? Search Twilight in Etsy's search engine and you'll find a ton of Twilight inspired gifts.

You can find a ton of gift ideas from these artisan websites. Or choose something vintage instead of buying new. (Yes, this is the only time you will see me suggesting you buy vintage. Recycle, people!) A lot of these shops will have Black Friday/Cyber Monday sales. Get a good deal without leaving the house!

Speaking of which, I did tease that I would be announcing my Black Friday/Cyber Monday deal today. It will not go into effect until Friday, but it is good the entire weekend. 15% off everything in the shop. And, if you order $50 or more, you'll get free shipping. Email me before you order and I will create a custom listing for you.

Well, better get back to work. Have a great Thanksgiving!


Monday, November 19, 2012

Countdown to the shopping frenzy

Hi Friends. I know I haven't been posting as much lately, but things were hectic getting ready for this craft fair this past weekend. Learned a lot. Set-up was a breeze. Anxiety was kept at bay. However, the sales did not happen, for whatever reason. I sold 6 items, and I haven't had any emails or phone calls regarding the business cards I handed out. Oh well. At least I sold 6 items, right? I made back my booth fee.

My birthday was yesterday and I was showered with gifts from my best friends and my family. Got a Knook, which just means more crafting is in my future. :evil

On Friday, I did post new listings on my Etsy page and my web page. What do you think? I have scrubbies and a new baby blanket and some wash cloths. My current project is a baby boy blanket, so I will have 3 varieties of my block baby blanket.

My apartment is in a sad state. I need to do a major clean. Luckily, nothing is going on Friday or Saturday. So I will be home cleaning and getting things ready for the holiday season. Leftse making on Sunday. \o/

I am also back on the diet and exercise plan. I have been slacking. Not good! I have only lost 15 pounds. Need to get going!

So, I'm going to tease you all a little bit. Who loves Black Friday sales? Small Business Saturday? Cyber Monday? Well, I will be having a sale the entire weekend after Thanksgiving. No coupon codes to remember, no gimmicks. Just a straight sale.

I've also lowered my shipping fees on a lot of my things. I will still ship with a tracking number, but it will be shipped First Class, not Priority, unless you request it.

I've reached over 200 fans on my Facebook page. So excited!

Anyway, I think that is everything. Hoping for sales. Going to see if I can't hop on some more blog hops.


Friday, November 2, 2012

Happy Friday! Skittles Vodka recipe

I am so happy today is Friday. Not just because of the weekend, but because I have nowhere to be this weekend except home! And I plan on keeping it that way. I have a list of things I would love to do for my craft fairs starting up. Oh, and of course, supposedly an extra hour of sleep because of Daylight Savings Time, but in all honesty, I'm going to use that hour to craft.

First order of business will be to cut more tulle and make beautiful scrubbies. If the light is right this weekend, I will take pictures and post them. Seriously, these things are tough, but you can use them on anything. The one Josh has been using to wash dishes has lasted at least 3 years. That's pretty good for anything that is used every day. Of course, it looks pretty sad right now, and is starting to fall apart, but still.

Once that is done, I'll be working on the baby blanket I've been working on during dance. It is so pretty. Pinks and purples and white.

So, talk on Etsy has been about Black Friday and Cyber Monday. I've thought about it, and I will be participating. How much will you be getting off everything? That's a secret. I'll announce that on Wednesday, November 21. So, make sure you are friends with me on Facebook and Twitter. @JTangledThreads or

Okay, I promised a fun way to use your leftover candy. Skittles anyone? Here is a recipe for Skittles Vodka I found on

And so we give you Skittles-flavored vodka. It’s easy as pie (or pie-flavored vodka).

1 1.75 liter bottle vodka (please don’t ruin a bottle of Grey Goose on this project)
About 20 ounces of Skittles

Remember you can adjust this recipe depending on how many Skittles you have ... only 10 ounces of Skittles? Just use about half the bottle of vodka.

Separate the Skittles by color into five large containers or bottles with lids.

Divide the bottle of vodka evenly five ways and pour over the Skittles.

Secure lid and shake vodka/Skittles concoctions.

Let sit overnight or until all the candy is dissolved into the vodka. Give it a couple shakes to help the process along.

When you’re done you’ll have five brightly colored bottles and an excuse to knock back a few shots without the embarrassment of sounding like a tipsy coed imploring the bartender to “make something fruity!”

Never one to take the lazy way out of reporting, News Lifestyle Editor Danielle Haynes and Managing Editor Eric DuVall set out to get some firsthand knowledge of this story. Consensus after tasting all the flavors was that the lemon and lime Skittles made the best flavored vodka. Don’t let the bright colors fool you. Taken as a chilled shot, the Skittles-flavored vodka packs a punch. It is, after all, still pure vodka and though the Skittles sugary flavor lingers on the tongue, there’s no mistaking the strong taste of alcohol often lacking in those super-sweet distilled offerings at the liquor store.
Used in a drink, we found lemon-lime soda (we used Sprite) was the most natural mixer. For those looking to cut the sweetness, club soda and a twist of lemon also makes for a decent option.
Come next week when the mere idea of eating one more piece of candy induces a diabetic coma, Skittles-infused vodka might be just what the doctor (or dentist) ordered.

— Adapted from

There you go, my friends. Of course, don't drink if you are under 21 and don't drink and drive. Drink responsibly.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

I almost forgot. I'm also participating in an online craft show from November 8-30. I'm very excited for this opportunity. I only have a few pairs of my Flip-Furs listed, but you can have the show special for all of my Flip-Furs. 2 pairs for $70. This includes shipping. Contact me with your color combinations.

The site for the craft show is Search Jen's Tangled Threads. I will be in the chat room in the evenings to talk to customers.

Life as I know it

I know, I know. I've been neglectful. I haven't posted this week's Brand New Monday treasury. I haven't posted much in the past week at all. I'm a bad, bad blogger.

I've actually had good excuses. I've been doing a lot of working lunches at my day job, so getting online to blog has been difficult. And you know I don't blog on the weekends unless there is something exciting going on.

If you've read previous posts, you know that on the 17th, I will be at a craft fair. My first real one! I'm so excited. Things to do. I have the new business cards designed with my website, I have a banner designed, though I might re-do it. Not really feeling it. Unless Mom makes me a purple table cover like I'm hoping. Then the plain white one I designed will be perfect! Designed mini-cards to put on my Flip-Furs. Finished all the Flip-Furs (finally) and I'm making kitchen scrubbies. I can do one in about an hour.

I already have the 16th off so I can pack everything, make sure everything is good to go and I have all the supplies I need. I have my card reader and a fanny pack. I need to start making my lists. Lists are my friends.

I will post my list making soon. If anyone has any tips, please let me know. I'm doing this all on my own. My wonderful mom is taking the boy-child for the day and they have promised to stop by at some point. I'm getting excited for this!!!! The fair is just around the corner. I'm hoping to sell at least 1 pair of Flip-Furs. Just one. Make back my money I paid for my booth.

Hope you all had a great Halloween. If you want to get rid of the candy without eating it, send it to the soldiers. They always appreciate it. Go to to get the information.

If I remember, tomorrow I will post a fun recipe for adults for Halloween candy.