Thursday, December 10, 2009

Hello! I'm so busy in the studio, and shipping out cute parcels for you all, that I haven't stopped in blogland to say hello.

The Winter Gift Faire was wonderful last weekend. We had a great time setting up, lots of visitors (and shoppers!!!), and the "guys" put on a big feast for the neighborhood after wards. We have been able to donate over $500 to our children's school in the process. Which reminds me, I have more sized wrist warmers, as above and better get some photos up on my etsy shop.

This weekend, I have a Meet Your Maker show at Fenario Gallery downtown (Willamette and 8th). Sunday 12-5pm. Come down and scoop up your wrist warmers gifts! They are selling fast.

I'm putting out a thank you to all my beloved Etsy shoppers right here and now! I'm making more One Bird Tree wrist warmers again today. Trying to get everyone's paws cozied before xmas. xoxoxo.

Mudslide Sydney and Long Legs MacCormack leafing around.

Since this photo was taken, Oregon has experienced a real cold snap. This will not sound like much to those in the Midwest, back East, and many parts of Europe...... BUT it hasn't gotten above freezing all week. It's the warmest part of the day today and only 30F.

Our three hens see me coming with the kettle each morning (after I make coffee of course!) and run straight to me. I pour hot water over their icy watering jug so they can get a drink. The girlz do ok in this weather, being the nice fat hens they are, but are rather disappointed the ground is frozen and no juicy worms and exciting bugs to be found.

Several days ago, the kids spotted a hummingbird visiting the feeder I had forgotten to take in. After it left, I raced outside and put enough fresh sugar water to fill up just the bottom. The feeder is beautiful handblown glass, and I wouldn't want to crack it. Now I'm sure that "hummer juice" has frozen over but the wee bird comes back several times a day to have a lick at it. It sits right down on the feeder and licks away. Must be getting something.

Are humming birds supposed to hang around Oregon in the winter? Is there something more I can do for it?

Check out the action shot I got of our kitty Scoopy. !!! He was jumping for the tall grass heads......

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Winter Gift Faire - Studio Sale

Hello friends,
Our Winter Gift Faire is coming up - mark your calendars for this Saturday. I made LOTS of kid-sized wrist warmers, as requested, as well as my lovely designs for women, and low and behold new MAN SIZE! Wait till you see Kristi and Roman's gorgeous jewelry designs, and Melissa's up-cycled sweater hoodies with needle felting, and leaf pouches (capture one for your Fairy World Winter costume!).

The kids have been hard at work making nice gifts as well. Finn and Quillan made a slew of tiny pin cushions that look like bon bons, out of recycled wool, and needle felting. Everyone who's come into the studio to pick up orders, has spotted them and had to have one right then and there!

Get great gifts for the holidays, enjoy refreshments, and say hi to your neighbors and friends here. I'm looking forward to having time to sit down and visit with everyone. YEY.

See you on Saturday!

Alysse and Friends
Dec 5, 12-6pm
2084 Garfield (Kristi's house just four blocks past Garfield going west)

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Wrist Warmers on Black Wednesday

Black Wednesday sale! Line up your holiday gifts at Bliss Monkey Studio and save. FREE shipping on purchases of two or more wrist warmers. Wednesday only.

One Leaf Tree style.

New MAN sized wrist warmers now available in the shop. :-) Wrist warmers are a wonderful gift for yourself, teens, elderly, everyone! They are great for indoor activities like typing, knitting, playing cello, AND driving, just don't do all at one time! As well as outdoor use. Great confidence booster on the way to an interview and during dental visits. Fleece wrist warmers are easy to care for, just wash and dry with your clothes!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Happy Visitors

Nothing quite like the pitter patter and happy giggles of a crew of gnomes......

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Holiday Ornaments

Sweet! My Gnome Ornaments is on the front page of the Etsy Holiday Ornaments Gift Guide. How lovely. I wondered why my Bliss Forest shop was having such a run on things, and gnomes were heading out. A happen to have a good supply currently, so it's a good surprise indeed. Click the photo to link to the full Ornament Guide.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

How many eggs are in your basket?

Happy Autumn. Two hens are doing their seasonal molt, and only one hen is laying her daily eggs. It's rather cold and embarrassing (literally) for the girls to molt, but they are so glossy and pretty when their new feathers grow back in. I can't even share a photo with you, it just wouldn't be nice.

Do you have any leaves left on your trees? We are having a gorgeous Fall here in Oregon. I love it when it's not TOO rainy because the colored leaves last longer. The kids pressed some leaves and I taped them across the door frame tops for decoration. Our pear tree finally made pears this summer. Gorgeous, juicy, heavenly pears for the first time in the three summers we've lived here. I credit the neighbors honey bees. All the leaves have fallen from the pear tree, but there's still some BIG pears at the top of the tree hanging on. Big birds like Jays and Oh, what are they called? The lovely big birds with a dark ring on their neck, and red under the wing? They hop into the tree and nibble the pears. Lovely bird feeder. We are happy to share.

Did you ever have or see an Awake/Asleep doll when you were a kid? I always wanted one. I kept thinking about making some in Gnome style. Decided to combine that idea with the need to make organic gnome dolls. I made a batch of organic cotton stuffed, pre-washed cotton gnomes for babies to gnaw on and toddlers to play with. Stock got wiped out within 24 hours! I guess the world needs MORE organic awake/asleep rainbow baby gnomes...... (sew sew sew)

Did you ever consider using the search bar to search a shop for something specific? My Bliss Forest store has a few items and it's easy to see everything, but AlyTheRed and Charmish have pages and pages of items, so once you are IN the store, it's great to use the search bar to look for specific things like, "blue", or "frog", or "books".

Holiday Shows:
First Saturday in December: Winter Gift Faire

First Sunday in December: Fenario gallery hosts the "Meet Your Maker" handmade art/craft/design event.

If you are in Eugene Oregon, please come visit. I will be offering wrist warmers in KID and MAN sizes for these two events (by request), along with my ornaments, plush gnomes, ninja bunnies, bags, and many surprises.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

New Design Release Party!!

Tomorrow, Friday morning, Charmish is having a New Designs Release Party (morning, Oregon time). I'll be listing many of my brand new designs one after the other. YEY!!! Some, like this Sock Monkey bead, I've been waiting on for 6 months. I'm so excited!!!

Sock Monkey is my new favorite bead, so come see him and all his new friends tomorrow morning. Please bring a friend. There may be prizes and specials going on!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009


This time of year has me tucked in my studio sewing One Leaf Trees, and One Bird Tree wrist warmers. They are made of soft, washable, anti-pill fleece. Wrist warmers keep your hands and body warm while walking, driving, typing, shopping (aren't the grocery stores chilly?) AND they are washable. Pop them in the wash, right with your clothes. With all our concerns about hand washing this year, washable gloves are important too.

I love autumn in Oregon. Especially when it's sunny and all the trees slowly turn golden, rust, flame, olive and brown. Too much rain, and it all happens too fast. So far, so good this year.

The childrens' school is only five blocks away, so we design our mornings swith time to walk to school, enjoy the sun, scuff our shoes through falling leaves, laugh and chat, before the school day starts. I head back home to the studio, full of ideas, and fresh air.

New design "Falling Leaves." Appliqueing fleece on fleece is a stretchy, migrating, slippery process. It's hard. This comes in handy, while I'm shaping the tree limbs as I sew, but with the rest of the designs, especially when I want to keep them symmetrical, are challenging. Sometimes I think about going to felt applique, but I like the end result of fleece on fleece. It's soft and stretchy and cozy.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

I've been stalked!


Ninja bunny has been "caught" by EtsyStalker style blog and is part of their cute ninja feature. A fun site, with give-aways to check out!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

I love Knitting (and talking)

Well, that's a theme. :-) I'm excited to present the latest pandora style charm bead in my crafter's series: "I Love Knitting". Can you see the little needles? I designed the needles to be short, so they wouldn't snag on thing. This will be available in my shop later this week. Etsy convo me if you would like to pre-order one.

Ah yes, the Cellphone charm bead! This one has typing capabilities.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Plush Lush - new friends in Bliss Forest

Geisha Special Force ninja bunny is too bad ass NOT to wear pink! 8" of gorgeous geisha plush.

She's pretty, she's charming, and sometimes quite BAD.

Special skills:
Throwing star accuracy
Playing dress up
Hypnotic eye lash fluttering

GSF Ninja Bunny is ready for a new mission to:

-raid easter baskets,
-jump on your couch, bed,
-given to your best friend,
-be dressed up with your own clothing ideas,
-decorate your cubicle,
-or be part of your "angry rabbits who climb and steal" display...... not that she's angry, she's just NINJA!

Awww, and well, he's not AS spectacular, but sometimes one just needs a little simple love. Chocolate Love bunny, at your service......


Monday, September 28, 2009

Autumn Wrist Warmers

It's wrist warmer season! Time to bust out some fun new applique designs.
"An Apple A Day".......

I should have made more than one pair of these, but it's hard to tell how much you'll like a new design or not.

Solid green and solid black are selling well so far.

First "Leaf" of the season. Happy Monday, everyone!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

English Tea and Viking Chain

English Tea Set is my latest design. I like the off-set feature, so they are different on each side.
Flower Tea Cup, Flower Tea Pot. I was tempted to sell them as a set......

I would like charm lovers to be able to wear their charms on a necklace. The one necklace I had in the shop was rather dear, so I've been searching for something more affordable. I bought one of these handmade Viking style chains for myself and just love it. It's made by basically hand knitting the wire, then drawing it down through wooden "drawplates" with a smaller and smaller diameter, until the little loops of wire are fine and smooth.

I've been wearing mine for three months now and adore it. I can wear pendants as well as my charm beads! 15" which is about collar bone length. If you are interested in a longer style, let me know.

I'm also going to carry a really simple silicone rubber necklace. It's fun and inexpensive. May also be a nice accompaniment to a gift bead.

These will all be in the shop in the next few days.

The Season for Spooky

Good morning!
I'm getting back into the fall studio routine now that the little ones are in school and soccer.

Halloween, and Dia De Los Muertos are great holidays for inspiring creativity. I took great delight in creating two 8" Vampire Bunnies. This time I hand embroidered their faces. New coffee cozies include Calavera, seen here, and Sugar Skulls.

Skulls have gone from being "morbid" imagery, to "punk", they have followed the upsurge in pirate popularity, and have recently established themselves as cute and decorate motifs for children's clothing and cotton prints. My skull fabric collection keeps growing!

I also have a good sized collection of Zodiac fabric. I loved using the cute prints used to make set
of Zodiac pouches (one seen iin this treasury).

Happy week to everyone!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Corker Knitting

I'm having fun with my new "corker" that I found at Michael's. Lyon's brand yarn co makes these cute ones. You push the starter tail through, and wind the yarn around the four pegs, then start knitting. I'm using a toothpick to lift the loops over the peg. It makes a knitted cord - can you see it starting for form out the bottom there?

Did you ever knit with these as a kid? It's also called spool knitting. We used to race to see who's snake was the longest by the end of recess. We used them to make belts, straps for bags, snakes of course, dolls, doll clothes, and rugs- a million things.

Yours may have been a simple wooden spool with four pegs. Or loops like these. Or maybe you got a Knitty Nancy for Christmas! I'd be so jealous if you STILL had it too!

I'm going to see if my kids will give it a go. I noticed my fourth grader's class list included cross stitch fabric and crochet hook. I'm brushing up on my crochet and knitting skills so I can go help. I'm not a huge knitter but it's really fun once in awhile. I came up with a project I can work on while at soccer practice with the kids.

What can grown ups do with the corker??
Crafty Stylish has three projects: A flower brooch, pen cozy (can you resist that?), and bracelet. You'll find other projects listed under, "knitting corker" and "spool knitting".

Travel, food, hobbies, oh my!

I'm so excited about all the new designs that have come in this week!

Food, hobbies and travel? Those are some of life's great joys. Let's celebrate- European bead charm bracelet style.

Sushi Tray charm bead.
My family loves Sushi Station, where we sit at the bar, watching the chefs prepare all the yummy sushi, and place it on the conveyor belt for us to choose. The kids know all their favorites and are willing to try anything new. Here's one for all us Sushi lovers!

For musicians, music lovers, dancers, this little boom box charm bead with get your groove on.

Lucky Sapphire Dice charm bead.
Feeling lucky? Maybe you'd like to have this sparkly sapphire and ruby cz to remind you. What do you feel lucky about in life? Or do you need a little extra luck? Bling bling.

Lil Camper charm bead.
I designed this European charm bead camper after the tiniest of Airstream style campers. It's so cute, I just wanna eat it, or go traveling!!!
Food, hobbies and travel? Those are some of life's great joys. I hope you get a kick out of my new designs debuting this week.

Important News: Please shop the "sold" section. WHAT? Yes, let me clarify: as it is my mission to keep bringing the latest, greatest, newest choice of designs into the shop, I can't possibly contain all my designs at once. I pick up a few of each new design as it comes out, and when those are sold, I move onto the next new set. BUT most of the designs are continuously available behind the scenes. So, please feel free to ask for things that have sold recently. I can either get them for you right away, or put you on a waiting list. My production team has made changes that get the "refills" to us sooner, so the wait won't be long in most cases.

Coming soon: my English garden tea set, and Irish pot of gold.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Into the Forest

Fall is in the air here in Oregon, though the days are still quite warm. I'm back in the studio full time, ready to stock my shops with goodness and bliss. I have basically taken the past six weeks off for summer with the kids, gardening, camping, canning, swimming, then end of summer de-clutter for home and yard. I see the studio needs that TLC too. It's easy to be a pack rat when one is a designer/crafter/artist because "I will use that one day" is probably true.... however if one can't get into her studio due to all the goodies stored there..... lol. It's not that bad. yet.

Check out this gorgeous etsy treasury. My gnome ornaments are everywhere this season, but haven't sold one pair yet. It's funny that my Bliss Forest shop (gnomes, bunnies, woodland plush) get tons of visits and press, but not many sales. I hope people will be returning for holiday gifting. Ninja Bunnies are the current selling item in BlissForest.

Here's a question: Do you think it a good idea if I were to offer Gnome prints for people to embroider or paint, and sew their own ornaments? It would be the gnome set, printed on cotton, with instruction/inspiration sheet?

Here's to Autumn (clinking coffee cups).

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Google Analytics Anyone? Tip for Etsy shop keeps

If you use Google Analytics you will love this tip. How do you know WHEN people visit your etsy site (or blog or whatever you are tracking)? What time of day your fans are out there? It's been hiding in your Google Analytics all along.

Go to your left side bar and click "Visitor Trending"
Under that you click "visitor"
Then look to the right ....... around the charts you'll see a wee little clock. Click clock.

The big reveal to a bar graph showing what times of day are MORE popular viewing for your shop and your customers! Ta da! Those will be the best time to post new items, or relist. This is handy information.

Do you ever wonder if re-listing really truly brings in the visitors?

Next to the clock is the button to see which days they visit more often. I can tell right off, that my two days to relist and add new items are the most popular days- by far. Ok. Learn from the bar graph, Girl.

There's so much IN the Google Analytics, we can all use a good tip. One lesson at a time. :-)

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Harvest Season

We were planning a five day trip to Waldo lake with the new Kayak, BUT a big weather front is coming in. All the packing and planning is a ton of work, but being there is glorious. Darn. And the kids start school next week. On the other hand, it's good to be home too. LOOK at that bounty from the garden! Food needs preserving, cooking, baking and eating.

The Butterfly Tree is growing and blooming nicely. I was trying to capture the portraits of two little orange butterflies in this photo, but they were shy.

Have a look at THIS furry string bean I found in the garden!

Poppy Kitten.

Ok ok ok, I finally decided to be a "grown up" at least a little. We installed a stand up freezer in the garage, and I bought a full canning set up. This is our first batch of plums and pears. Looks like I need to pack the plums a little more firmly. We opened a mixed batch to test. Delish! I like the super light syrup with very little sugar.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

New Designs

Happy end of August. Some Oregonians have complained that it's cooled down to 83 degrees. I love it. Warm sunny days, cool nights, and the last week of August. We are still visiting the outdoor pool most days, and walking the dog. Planning one more "big" camping trip before school starts. That reminds me: thank you to everyone who has been so patiently waiting for their orders as I get caught up from the last camping excursion.

You'll see more and more holiday charms wandering into the shop, having a look around, and hopefully being whisked off to new owners. I'm happy to have reunited Vampire and Werewolf beads at this time, and getting the second 1/2 of the pair sent off to those who could only capture one.

New Designs, Baby!
My business plan involves keeping some favorites in the shop, but a focus on new designs coming in. New goodies is great for everyone. This means I carry small batches of beads at a time. SO, I am formally inviting you to also shop in the "sold" section. My bead reorders are coming more promptly, so feel free to request beads you'd like that aren't currently in the store.