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.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Vacation Mode

We enjoyed a week's worth of family camping in the California Redwoods and coast. It was lovely weather, cool enough for hiking, warm enough for water. Many of my happy childhood memories involve road trips with Mom, and camping out in our '68 VW van, hiking and enjoying nature away from everyone else.

Mom was NOT into roadside attractions, however. I'm the more curious sort, and insisted we stop to explore The Trees of Mystery AND the West Coast Game Park (largest petting zoo in North America?!), both on HWY 199 in CA and So. OR.

It was an amazing experience to get to meet AND play with Bella, this lion cub. She was so cute, and fun. Just like a kitten of course.

Her fur felt like wool- thick and not so soft. She was very gentle and trained not to scratch. She goes home with the park owner every night to sleep in the house with the Siberian Lynx kit, and Leopard kit. What a sweet family. We are still in love with her.


40 pounds of fuzzy bunny wuv!

I just adore these big Flemish Giant bunnies, but raised Satin breed rabbits and did 4-H growing up. Look at those fuzzy feets! If you have a little room in your life for a bunny, you needn't go to this extreme. How about adopting a rescue bunny in your area, or sponsoring a bunny at the Bunny Castle Rabbit Rescue in Bishop, CA? Bliss Monkey Studio donates to Bunny Castle so they can keep providing care to rescue and special needs bunnies.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009


Goin' on a big adventure
and I don't know what's in store.
I'm going to the closet
then I'm heading out the door!

(Song from Zaboomafoo. Did you ever watch that?)

I'm taking off for a week, please keep an eye on my house ok?

Check out the big coffee themed give away week at Scraps of LIfe! One of my Sock Monkey coffee cozies is up for grabs, along with many other fun items.


Thursday, August 6, 2009

Gingerbread for the Holidays

New bead friends for the holidays: Gingerbread Boy and Gingerbread House. Can you guess that I like gingerbread?

I like gingerbread cake with real chunks of crystallized ginger, and a dollop of whipped cream.

When I was little, mom and I made gingerbread people for all our friends and family, decorating each one to look like the recipient. It is one of my favorite childhood memories. Mom made frosting in cake decorating tubes, so we could apply appropriate colored hair, eyes, glasses, and clothing. I loved it. Now, I do the same with my kids.

Though I "cheat" when it comes to making gingerbread houses. We use Graham crackers!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Good Comics for Kids- the artist as mother

Many children catch the joy of reading through comics.

I was admittedly snobby about so many kids in our class "totally into Garfield". He's a grumpy, fat cat, who's rude. What's so great about that? Don't they have better things to read? Blah.

Slowly I realized how much the kids love it. And kids who were slower to catch onto reading, were absorbed in these cartoon books. Ok, so Garfield isn't my favorite, but comics may be a great place to start for many kids, including my older son who wasn't keen on reading. Fun pictures, lots of little phrases to read, and the character's expressions make the kids WANT to read what they are saying.

You can do fun things like divide up the characters and read together, using your best funny voices.
I have enjoyed this link of Good Comics for Kids. I haven't read all the books listed yet, so can't vouch for them ALL myself.

Our family are Moomintroll and Avatar- the last airbender fans. Why isn't Avatar listed? It is a great adventure story, with good values and characters that grow. LOVE the animated series from Netflicks, as well as the graphic novels.

Since the beginning of summer, I have been going to the library- rounding out the kids' choices (the kids are 6 and 9 currently), with some short chapter books, big picture books, graphic novels, stylish manga, and whatever they are interested in this week. Zoo stories? Dragons? Magic tricks?

At home,
I arrange the books on the hearth seat, like a library display. My kids go right to the livingroom, when they wake up, eager to snuggle on the couch and read. They don't ask to watch cartoons, unless it's Saturday. Sometimes I wake to the sound of them reading out loud to eachother and giggling. They help themselves to quiet time, reading happily, on and off during the day. This is new and darn exciting to our household.

On Friday's they write a short book report. Keep up those writing skills.

On our upcoming trip to the Redwoods, I hope to have them writing their own blog! I'll let you know, and you can follow along if you like. Maybe some comments will encourage them. They both adore taking photos, of course many of those photos include close ups of bottoms, lego people, and for some reason the salt and pepper shaker cows gets tons of press. ?? I'm looking for some fun kid blogs to inspire them. Recommend any?

Monday, August 3, 2009

Planning a little trip....

We are planning a little trip down to the Redwoods. While the kids have been on a plane, and to So Cal, they've never been to Northern California, nor such a long car trip. We are all excited to camp and hike for a week.

We came up with this really really cool idea for the kids to write their own blog including photos for the trip. It helps them practice writing, organizing thoughts, storytelling, and typing - in a FUN way. Or at least I hope so.

We'll be bringing a lap top, as our one piece of technology, so I'll keep you posted for the Redwoods trip blog address.
Ooo, gotta get in a plug in thingie to run the computer in the car. And you all KNOW why I want to bring a lap top. Gotta check my etsy!!!

Meanwhile, if you have any recommendations about our itinerary, please let us know. Travel dates are Aug 13-18.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Japan treasury- european beads Maneki Neko

My Charmish bead, Maneki Neko, landed in this etsy treasury collection. Many of the items were so cute, I had to visit their shops and mark favorites. The ninja buttons made me laugh.

Charmish beads are designed by me, but not handmade by me, so they must be marked as a "supply" which puts them outside of Etsy's regular search engines. "Supplies" are their own category. Thus, word of mouth is incredibly important in helping my Charmish business grow. It's fantastic and very much appreciated when Charmish gets blog coverage, makes it into treasuries, and excited customers share my business cards with their friends.

In an effort to get beyond a "supply" I'm about to market bracelets featuring collections of my beads. I've commissioned a local glass artist to make several sets of custom glass beads that enhance my designs. Collaborating with another artist is a great deal of fun. Im a big fan of lampwork glass.

Holidays: you will start to see a smattering of holidays bead designs entering my shop: Christmas Elf, Gingerbread Boy and Cottage...... other wee surprises. Planning ahead for holiday fun.

Happy August!