Saturday, February 28, 2009

Meet Donna Pool

For several months I have been intrigued by these unique Patchwork Puzzle Balls that Donna Pool makes.
What is so amazing is that each piece of these balls has been lovingly hand stitched ~ no machines were used in the making of these awesome toys!

They are safe for pets and children and the best part ~ they are machine washable! What a truly unique idea for a gift!

You really must check out Donna's blog where she writes about her creations and more.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009


Earlier this month I celebrated my First Anniversary on Etsy. I had tried selling online via other avenues in the past, with little success. Knowing how to market and where to market seemed to be a sea of unknowns, not to mention ~ time consuming. Finding the time to devote/seek out marketing avenues after working 8+ hours 5 days a week can be difficult. Internet marketing is vastly different than a Brick and Mortar store. You can't physically see your target audience and you only have a few seconds to make a lasting impression that will prompt the visitor to look beyond that first click.

When I stumbled across Etsy, I was impressed with the fact that I could open a shop for free, the listing fees very reasonable, and the selling fees equally reasonable. Best of all, Etsy is a selling market geared to expose handcrafted products. I figured I had little to lose if nothing sold. But, if I did start selling, then I've gained some much needed extra income for my family.

Within weeks sales began to come in. After spending hours on end scouring the forums on Etsy, I came to realize that the only way for sales to keep coming in I had to devote an incredible amount of time to market my shop. And the marketing had to go beyond Etsy to be effective and far reaching.

Selling online is hard work. New avenues to market yourself are discovered every day. You might find one technique of marketing that works today, but is "dead" tomorrow. Just as technology is changing every day, so is internet marketing. Do you know how many people I have met both online and off that have never heard about Etsy? If you aren't marketing your shop off of Etsy you are missing a huge market of potential customers.

I have met some of the greatest people on Etsy. I've gained some awesome friendships and customers both locally and abroad. I have little to complain almost 600 sales a year later, I'm pretty jazzed!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Monster Cookie Recipe

I apologize for not putting this recipe on my blog sooner. The week has gotten away from me. It's vacation week for Ms. Moo, and I am holding my daughter's baby shower this weekend, so there has been the meticulous cleaning, decluttering and all that good stuff going on. Spring cleaning early, if you will...only it sure doesn't look or feel like spring up here in Vermont at the moment.


Yeild: A LOT (if you don't eat all of the cookie dough)!!!

Mix in large (I'm not kidding when I say large) pan in order given

1 pound soft margarine (Ms. Moo prefers real butter)
2 pounds brown sugar
4 cups sugar
12 eggs
1 Tbsp. Corn Syrup
1 Tbsp. Vanilla
8 tsp. baking soda
3 pounds peanut butter
18 cups rolled oats
1 pound chocolate chips
1 pound M & M's
(Ms. Moo also adds 1 pound chopped walnuts)

Variations: You could put raisins, dried cranberries, or any kind of baking chips - butterscotch, peanut butter, broken candy bars, etc.)

Drop by spoonfuls onto cookie sheet. Bake at 350° for 12 min. Cool on pan for a couple minutes before cooling on rack. Freeze baked cookies in airtight containers. Enjoy!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Monster Cookies

Growing up my mother would make Monster Cookies. I was always amazed at the size of bowl/pan required to mix up the tasty treats. The name of the cookie, I have decided, isn't so much a description about the size of the cookies but rather the amount of cookie dough you end up with.

It was loads of fun to take turns stirring up the massive batch of cookies, but I never paid much attention to the amount of time spent baking them after my mother had us take turns mixing the dough. And, I never really paid much attention to the fact that we had container after container of cookies stored away in the freezer after the baking frenzy.

The recipe was passed along when I got married and I've made them a few times, and decided today was a great day to mix up a batch while I had two kids and one "adopted" kid that were willing subjects to do the mixing. After about 4 pans into the baking process I decided a recipe of this size would be more fun if I had the oven space and larger sheet pans like I use at school.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Counting My Blessings

I knew it was something serious for them to come get me in the middle of serving lunch at school yesterday to take an emergency phone call at my desk. My husband, forgetting he is not invincible, headed off into the woods to cut more firewood to get us through the rest of the winter heating season...alone & not wearing a helmet...on snowshoes. His sister had a funny feeling that she should stick around while her brother was in the woods, Thank God she followed that heeding! A short while later she got a call that he needed some help as a tree had come down on him. He was lucky ~ a gash across his eyebrow that required stitches, a slash along the length of his nose and across his lip. He looks real cute! Today he feels a knot on his head ~ not from the cast iron frying pan this time ;-) and his shoulder is tender. It could have been far more serious because at the time the tree came down he was preparing to start up the chain saw. I shudder to think!