Sunday, December 21, 2008

AM Snow on our driveway

Just wanted to share. As I got up this morning 7am and just barely any light I took this photo while standing in my living room in my pjs.

A bit later I got this one, we are "snowed in"
It is time for more coffee or perhaps cocoa, wrap packages, bake cookies, do crafts, etsy, make a snowangel, write christmas cards..... nice snow!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

♥ Work space at Home ♥

♥ Work space at Home ♥

When I first started my little home based business, it was difficult to find space for my sewing machines, the computer and the shipping/wrapping supplies. It was all over the house, especially the computer stuff! I was always in there working away, missing out on the family stuff that was going on just down the hall. We have a "great" room that has the living area, dinning area and the kitchen completely connected, not very fung shui, but very cozy for family relaxing and communication. We had this TV cabinet that was not being used for a TV. I finally solved my "disconnect" by moving all my computer stuff in to it and rolling it right into the kitchen. I put my whole computer desk in this one space, with supplies and a cork board on the inside of the doors to pin important stuff. I put a keyboard drawer just under one of the shelves, and the printer fit in the bottom. I hang my computer glasses just inside. I have my favorite amiguri Kitty mascot on top of my computer tower to watch over me. Sometimes even my real kitty runs by...........

At bedtime or when we have visitors I simply close the doors and it is just a nice cabinet sitting along the wall in the kitchen. Then when I need to get to work I open the doors and roll up my chair. Organization is my middle name, and having it all in a central area so I can work and still bond with my family is the best of all possible outcomes! I hope my idea gives you ideas how to keep the home in home based business.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Chocolate what? Chocolate Wafer/Waffle Mini Cake

Chocolate Wafer Whip Mini Cake
You will not believe this but there are only two, ingredients in this little mini cake and no baking! This cake is only about 6 inches across including the whipped cream icing.

1 ~ package of chocolate waffle type chocolate cookies, you can also use the Nabisco chocolate wafers but those don't make a cake in this shape. There is a similar recipe on that box.
2 ~ A big tub of Cool Whip.

I got a box of those waffle type chocolate cookies and start by putting a blob of cool whip in the middle of a small plate. Then layer the cookies and blobs of cool whip, until you have a tall enough, finally "ice" the sides and top with more cool whip. The final instructions.......

Put it in the freezer till tomorrow.

Pull it out and cut it up, so yummy!

So what are you waiting for, quick, easy, fun, and yummy, not to mention chocolate!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Double Brat Featured Artist ~ Lavenderlizard ~

The Military Brats of Etsy Global Street Team

~ November 2008 Brat Feature ~

every few weeks we feature one of our members, this time we are proud to Feature:

Double Brat with two stores!
See her etsy shops here;

See the post on our Bratty Blog here;

1-Tell us a bit about yourself (name, location, affiliations, and personal stuff).

Hi! My name is Elizabeth Kalka, but everyone calls me Liz. I live in San Antonio, Texas (Military City USA), which is just perfect for a Brat! I’m married to a great guy (served in the US Navy), and we have 4 sons who range in age from 2 to 12.

I consider myself a Texan (part of my family arrived in Texas in the 1700s, and both of my parents were born and raised here), although I was born in Boulder, Colorado. After 20 years in the Air Force, my father retired, and we moved to the Dallas area, where I lived from the age of 10 until I left for college. Then I spent 12 years in Austin, where among other things, I attended the University of Texas (Hook ‘Em!). After my husband and I married, we settled here in San Antonio.

I started The Lavender Lizard with accessories, scrubbies and crocheted necessities about 18 months ago, and this year I opened The Lavender Ladybug, which I envision as my supply and destash shop.

2-What is the first thing you can remember making by hand? How and why did you make it?

I learned embroidery stitches while I was a Brownie when we were stationed in La Paz, Bolivia. I still have the first thing I made – I raided my mother’s sewing basket for buttons to embellish it. The “fabric” is very coarse, like burlap, and I signed it with my initials.

3-What inspires you? Where do your ideas come from?

I am probably most inspired by yarn – different colors and textures make me think of different objects. For instance, I found this great fluffy, orange, tweedy yarn, and I thought “I just have to make pumpkins out of this!” So I did! The problem is I have more yarn and ideas for it than I have time….

4-What are your favorite materials?

Well, yarn, of course! I also cross-stitch, and I am in the process of designing cross-stitch embellishments for The Lavender Ladybug.

5-What have been the most valuable lessons learned from other artists on Etsy?

Patience, for sure! Also, it’s important to know that an Etsy shop is not static – you must spend time listing, photographing, editing, writing, learning, promoting, networking, renewing, blogging, checking the forums, mailing (hopefully), and keeping records. That’s after you have spent time creating in the first place.

6-Why should people buy handmade?

Handmade = love! I have always cherished handmade gifts, and I love to have one-of-a-kind items that someone cared enough to make. Buying handmade is supporting an artist, and I can’t stress the importance of that enough!

7-What features/services would you most like to see on Etsy?

I would love to be able to organize my favorites – I’m forever hearting items, like I’ll go on a hearting spree through Pounce or the Treasury, but good luck finding them again. I don’t have the patience (or time) to check the pages of my favorites.

I would also love the ability to organize my shop without renewing items and put items into more than one shop category.

8-Apart from creating things, what do you do?

Well, I parent my boys, which keeps me quite busy. I have served on PTA boards for the last 6 years (this year, I am the treasurer for the middle school PTA). I have a weekend job in retail. And every night before I go to bed, I have to read, no matter how tired I am.

9-Read any good books lately?

Just finished “The 39 Clues” (Rick Riordan, the author, also lives in San Antonio), and I’m looking forward to the next one in this series (Put down the book, people – I’m going to win the prizes!)

I’m also working my way through the Bones series (although I found I could not stand the TV series based on these books! Weird, huh?) My favorite place in the world is a library.

10-In ten years I'd like to be…

Watching my 2 oldest sons graduate from college, DS3 graduating from high school, and seeing my youngest son enter teenage hood. Professionally, I would love to publish some of my original crochet designs.
11-How did you pick your business name and your etsy avatar?

Both The Lavender Lizard and The Lavender Ladybug were named with my favorite color in mind. Also, when I was growing up, my nickname was Lizard. My friend Photoshop and I created both of my avatars.

12- What is the connection between being a Crafter and being a Brat?

It doesn’t surprise me that a lot of Brats also craft. It must have something to do with the ability to be creative on the fly, to adapt to new situations quickly, and to use crafting to stay grounded in our lives. Growing up as a Brat, I was terribly shy and hated meeting new people. I still feel that way sometimes, but I also found that I can relate to most people on some level because of my life experiences. I think that’s probably true of most Brats!


Sunday, November 16, 2008

Yes I was featured... go see!!!

blog ad

I was featured on this very cute blog... Go and check it out! Click the badge above and then the entries.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

What was I thinking ~ Really ~ Halloween ~ Sarah Palin ~ ish?

~ Sarah Palin ~ ish? I?

..... I am a bit older and not as curvy, or as educated, or well connected, but I was recognized and it was fun! Not too scary.

Since my McCain was stumping in "another state" I went out with my mom and mother in law... so instead of big security guys, I had a couple of Grammies with me....☺ I don't have the bangs so that was a problem I couldn't/wouldn't fix.

I entertained them with some fancy pageant walking..... then those high heels just killed my feet!

Fun Fun Fun.... what will I do for next year?

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Military Friendly Shops ~ A web based network for help and discounts

Today I got notice that I was one of the "Shops of the Week" on a web site dedicated to help with shopping and shipping for military families, especially those overseas! COOL! Check it out!

This is how they describe themselves and the web site....
Who We Are
We are two Army wives & mothers! Yep just like you! We love to shop and have our own business making hair items for lil ones. We come across many sales and specials and thought..why not share them!!
We are avid online shoppers, we can and will (try!!) find every discount for you!
Our personal shops can be found at:

Lizzies Little Liahs Baby Bows Site

A Soldiers Flowers Etsy Site

And we offer FREE shipping to all APO, & FPO address's!
Any questions for us or about us?? Just ask!
Angela & Elizabeth

Saturday, October 11, 2008

I Won!

Yesterday in the mail I received these two cute buttons by

She had a little contest on her blog and


They are so adorable, you should see the other neat stuff in her shop! She explains herself this way:

With a background in design and illustration, Mechelle would create handmade cards for the Christmas holidays to send out to family and friends. After getting married and starting her family, she stopped making cards for a while. She started making cards again as gifts for her children's teachers and selling them at art festivals in which she exhibited her work. She decided to create her own line after encouragement from fellow artists and other recipients.

I am enjoying my little buttons!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

the Daily Verse

Some of you who are my regular readers may have found your way all the way down to the very bottom of the page where I post the "daily verse". A year ago or so I was searching for a devotional type of ~ something ~ some wisdom ~ so I could just open a mini study right here at my computer. Well after several attempts at it and not finding just the right thing either because of content or style. I found the "daily verse" and I signed up. Here is how it works, each weekday in my email I receive a verse with a little comment after it by the author. She always seems to pounce right on the very point of the verse, her comments are insightful and poignant in ways that cheer my heart and help me meditate on the love of God and his precepts. I hope that you will not miss the daily verse when you visit this blog ~ scroll down and check out what verse is there for you today.
Here is one I found so insightful, useful and it was just for me!
"So I do not run aimlessly; I do not box as one beating the air. But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified.
1 Corinthians 9:26,27
Sometimes we feel like we're running on a treadmill, getting nowhere, running aimlessly. As you step into today, consider discipline and control, and be intentional about where you're headed. Perhaps you don't have the strength to complete a marathon, but one step at a time, seek the Lord's grace, and draw from His reservoir of endurance. He will give you what you need to press forward. "

Sunday, September 28, 2008

indigobaydesigns and littlepinkplum ~ Brat Feature

The Military Brats of Etsy Global Street Team
~ Fall 2008 Brat Feature ~

Every few weeks we feature one of our members, this time we are proud to Feature:

indigobaydesigns and littlepinkplum
Double Brat with two stores!

1-Tell us a bit about yourself (name, location, affiliations, and personal stuff).

My name is Janet and I’m married with 3 kids. I live in El Cajon, CA (same place as our team leader oceankisses and also lizedgar). I am an Army brat and was born in Maryland. I graduated from high school in Japan and then my father was transferred to Arizona. A friend of mine was living in San Diego and asked me to share an apartment with her. So I moved out here and that was almost 20 years ago.

2-What is the first thing you can remember making by hand?

How and why did you make it?

I remember in elementary school gluing Popsicle sticks together to make a picture frame, and then gluing macaroni shells onto the Popsicle sticks. My teacher spray painted the frame and I gave it to my parents. It was something all the kids in my class made to give to their parents for Christmas.
3-What inspires you? Where do your ideas come from?

With my pocket mirrors, I look at various types of paper and try to figure out if that particular paper would be a good design for a mirror. And I make a lot of pendants based on what my two daughters like or ask me to make. I have recently started to experiment with my original drawings and digitally coloring them, and hope to turn them into mirrors and pendants soon.

4-What are your favorite materials?

Paper and more paper. I also like fabric. I sew a little and just made some lavender sachets to give as gifts this Christmas.

5-What have been the most valuable lessons learned from other artists on Etsy?

One important lesson I’ve learned from other artists on Etsy is to take great pictures since that is what is going to catch the eye of a potential buyer. That is something I still need to improve on, but I have come a long way from when I first started listing.

6-Why should people buy handmade?

People should buy handmade because it’s not a mass produced item that a million other people are going to have. You’re getting something very special that had a lot of attention, caring and pride that went into making it.

7-What features/services would you most like to see on Etsy?

One feature I would like to see is to be able to block non paying buyers from returning to your shop. I would also like to see Etsy become just as well known as the other “E” site. When I tell people that I sell on Etsy, I usually get a blank stare.

8-Apart from creating things, what do you do?

I love to read and I usually go to the library at least once a week to check out books or to get on the waiting list for the latest bestseller. I’ve been a stay at home mom since my son was born 3 years ago, and I spend a lot of time chauffeuring my kids around to school, after school activities, etc. They keep me busy.
9-Read any good books lately?

I just finished reading a book by Anne Perry. I love her Victorian murder mysteries.

10-In ten years I'd like to be…

... happy and successful at whatever I’m doing. I would also like to have some wholesale accounts. I just completed a small order for a boutique in Los Angeles, and I would love to sell my pendants and mirrors to more shops.

11-How did you pick your business name and your etsy avatar?

For littlepinkplum, I chose that name based on my favorite colors and the “little” part comes from me being not quite 5 feet tall. Indigo Bay is the name of a beautiful island resort near the Indian Ocean. I would love to vacation there someday.

12- What has being a brat at Etsy meant to you?

Not only is there a common bond of being crafters, but there’s also a special connection because of our unique background as brats.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Service makes life Heavenly

Today in my in box I got this email from a friend. I don't know if she is the author or if she just took it from the internet somewhere, I am repeating it here because it is just that good....

A holy man was having a conversation with the Lord one day and said.

"Lord, I would like to know what Heaven and Hell are like."

The Lord led the holy man to two doors. He opened one of the doors and the holy man looked in. In the middle of the room was a large round table. In the middle of the table was a large pot of stew, which smelled delicious and made the holy man's mouth water The people sitting around the table were thin and sickly. They appeared to be famished. They were holding spoons with very long handles that were strapped to their arms and each found it possible to reach into the pot of stew and take a spoonful. But because the handle was longer than their arms, they could not get the spoons back into their mouths.

The holy man shuddered at the sight of their misery and suffering. The Lord said, "You have seen Hell."

They went to the next room and opened the door.

It was exactly the same as the first one. There was the large round table with the large pot of stew which made the holy man's mouth water. The people were equipped with the same long -handled spoons, but there the people were well nourished and plump, laughing and talking. The holy man said, "I don't understand."

"It is simple," said the Lord. "It requires but one skill. You see they have learned to feed each other, while the greedy think only of themselves."

When Jesus died, he was thinking of you. Are we willing to share our spoon?

As I contemplate my next life ~ adventure ~ I am compelled to choose service to others rather than just self.


Monday, September 15, 2008

Almost Instant - Almost Famous - Hot Fudge Sauce

What am I doing?
Well, yes..... I am sharing publicly, "my world" famous HOT FUDGE SAUCE, topping for Ice Cream or anything else where Hot Fudge is needed !

My kids love this and I have sold laminated copies of it at my etsy shop..... At this point I decided it would be better to share it, than keep selling it for the cost of the laminated sheets... so here is the secret!!!
Shussss....keep it quiet, we don't want everyone to know how really easy it is to get a chocolate fix so rich and yummy!

For years my kids were bugging me to buy those expensive jars of Fudge sauce, so I began working on a quick cheaper alternative. This is ALMOST instant because it takes less than 5 minutes to make, assemble the 5 basic (you have this in your cupboard) ingredients and whisk together over medium/high heat.

First you will need;

Wire Whisk ~ Sauce Pan

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

NEXT collect the following ingredients:

3 Tbsp Butter (real)

1/3 cup Sugar (granulated)

1/4 cup Cocoa (dutch processes)

2 1/2 Tbsp Milk (whole)

Pinch of Salt

Assemble and measure out all ingredients,so they will be close at hand.

Melt butter over medium heat, whisk in sugar, when Incorporated, whisk in Cocoa, it will be gooey and slightly gritty. Add milk, whisk till fully combined. Allow to simmer just a minute whisking every few seconds. When it bubbles thickly... add pinch of salt, whisk and.... it is ready to pour on the ice cream or etc.

Serves about 3.... Don't count the calories OK!


*all that whisking, sometimes causes splats!

*On cake

*On a spoon

*On Ice Cream (the classic)

*Dip pretzels

*Dip fruit (it is healthy!)


If you would like to get a laminated copy from me, I still have a few, just send me a message and we can work something out, other wise feel free to use this and enjoy!

Friday, September 5, 2008

My New Favorate Place to surf ~ Cut Out and Keep

A couple of months ago I discovered this site Cut Out and Keep! They call themselves a step by step crafty community. It is full of mini "How to's"... written by people just like you and me. I have been surfing there quite a bit and finally put up a couple of things up myself.... check out my step by step...

My teen daughter finally got her ears pierced... so needed a place to put and display her begining collection... We did this...

Click on either photo to go to the Step by Step........ at Cut Out and Keep!

I also put up this wonderful drink that will cool you off on these last hot days of summer....

Italian Soda ... yummy and cool, calories yes but so good! click on the photo to go straight to the "How to"!

Saturday, August 30, 2008

The Purse Tote - Oops I didn't do that on purpose !!! - Black and White Chrysantemum fabric with touch of Silver

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ Or maybe it is ok........... missed it by that much. > <

Sometimes after making, creating, sewing, ironing, and otherwise being creative, you make an Oops! I have had my share of OOooops ~ es in the past and mostly I carry them myself or I take them apart and begin again. This time I decided it wasn’t that bad, and I have noticed that other Etsians have listed Oops also. In fact there was a treasury devoted to Oops a few weeks ago and they were lovely.
This is an "Ooops" because the snaps were put on off center and attached slightly to one side... This is priced slightly lower than the others because of the Ooops. If it is not sold in one cycle on etsy it will not be renewed and I will carry it. It is really a beautiful fabric. Oh! I might get another for my own collection! It is really a beautiful fabric. If this Oops is calling your name you can buy it at my shop..
Then put Oops in the search box and see what else comes up you will be surprised!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Bug Storm ~ and other adventures on the Road.

Bug Storm ~ and other adventures on the Road.

Many of you may know that I have been going on "road trips" this summer to visit the local colleges and universities in our area that my teen may want to attend fall 09. They do these tours, and we visit the classrooms and dorms, it is really neat way to help make a decision.
This was our last trip, and we were on a six hour drive in Eastern Washington, about dusk. When there arose such a splatter! I couldn't believe what we were seeing, splat! Splat! SPLAT!!!. It was a Bug Storm! It contained all sorts of bugs, locus, ladybug, flies, mayflies, and other really juicy ones!
My car has a kind of grimace, after having to endure it!

One large one still left stuck on after 300 more miles................ It got so thick that there was just a small place for me to see out of the window, and I had to constantly use the window cleaner to keep that area clean.
Ladybugs too!.................... They were so thick, it looked like a snowstorm.
Well ... it lasted about 5 minutes and when we arrived at the hotel later that night, there were about 50 still attached to the grill, too bad I didn't take a photo of that! These photos are from the next day when we got home 300 miles later, so alot blew off already.
I also let my teen drive, through the mountians, but that is another adventure, that the description is better left for another day!