Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Happy Halloween


Hi to all,

My heart felt wishes and prayers go out to all of you who have suffered through Hurricane Sandy.  I hope that all things will return to normal as soon as possible.  

What about Halloween?  I wanted to find out more about it, so I did a little research.  All of our Halloween customs have roots in ancient and medieval Europe.  Many historians believe that Halloween originated as a harvest festival. As the days got shorter and the nights got colder, people all over the world ushered in winter with gatherings, bonfires, costumes and sweets.  One of the oldest of these festivals was an ancient Celtic festival called "Sanhain".  The participants celebrated the harvest by lighting bonfires and wearing costumes to scare off the ghosts of the dead.  Sound familiar?

Later, about 800 A.D., All Saint's Day was declared a religious festival celebrated on November 1.  All Saint's Day was a celebration and remembrance of the dead.  The name Halloween probably was derived from "All Hallows Eve", the eve before All Saint's Day. The night before All Saint's Day, poor children would roam the neighborhood begging for "soul cakes"; this is believed to be the origination of "trick or treating".    "Trick or treating" was not really a common custom until the 1930's in America.  Amazing!

The eve of All Saint's Day was a spirit's last chance to avenge any living enemies before moving to the next world.  Costumes were worn as disguises, so these spirits could not find you.   Turnips and pumpkins were used as lanterns, the beginnings of our modern jack o'lantern.  Apples were a harvest symbol back to Roman times, now we bob for apples and eat candy apples.  And finally, the candy corn was made to represent a kernel of corn, another harvest symbol.  So there you have it, some of the ancient roots of Halloween.  Have a great scary night!

Kaye Lynn, Max and Tori, my best supporters!

Saturday was the Croton Artisan fair.  Here's my team!  We had fun, there were a lot of ghosts and goblins trick or treating from one vendor to another.  And thankfully the weather held.  Below are a few new things I added to my table at the last minute.  A little holiday glitz and some necklaces made with paper beads, old acrylic beads and ribbon.

And finally, please take a look at my Make your own holiday cards and gift tags with Recycled Paper Workshop.  It will be fun for all ages!  It is being held on November 3 at the Greenburgh Nature Center.  You can see what we will be doing in my blog of September 18th.  I'd love to see you there.

Well that's all for now.  Check out my Etsy site and thanks for visiting my blog.
Talk to you soon,


Monday, October 22, 2012

My Beautiful Nieces

                 Kirsten, the photographer
Emily the model (photo by Kirsten)

These are my beautiful nieces, two of many in my family.  You can see they are beautiful women, but they have beautiful hearts too.  Both Kirsten and Emily worked hard to make these pictures to help me update my Etsy site.  Kirsten is a professional photographer and Emily works at EMILY'S List, she's not a model.  Although, maybe she should be.  You can find Kirsten on Facebook or via the link I provided.   

My Chunky yellow cereal box necklace (photo by Kirsten)

I have been working very hard this last week, getting ready for the Artisan's Fair in Croton, NY next weekend.  Here are some of the items I have crafted recently.  I will have all of them at the Artisan's Fair.

Chinese Tubular Bead Bracelet
Paper Bead and Ribbon Necklace
Alice in Wonderland Necklace

Alice in Wonderland Bracelet

Below is the information on the Croton Artisan Fair.   I'll be there with my sister Kaye and my daughter Tori.  We will have all of the new necklaces and bracelets I have shown you lately along with lots of paper beads for you to use in your crafts, wine charms, and a special Free Paper Bead Bracelet Kit Giveaway!   There will be activities for the kids and food!  I hope to see you all there.

PS:  Bring a copy of this blog for 20% off any item at the fair.

See you soon,

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Your Brain and Crafting

Two more garage sale finds

Did you ever wonder if your crafting was really relaxing you or was that just your imagination?  I'm sure most of you have experienced this feeling of euphoria while doing needlework, stringing beads or any other craft you love.  Is there something going on in your brain and how does all of this happen?

Well, now the evidence is in, crafting really does put you in a deep relaxed state.  You can find a few articles on the internet and in magazines which will document this.

When part of you brain is absorbed in a crafting activity, the other part can not remain focused on your worries and problems.  You can leave all of your stresses behind while crafting.  You really have an opportunity to "zone out".  Crafting can even lower your blood pressure and your heart rate.  The brain waves of crafters immersed in repetitive tasks like knitting are remarkably similar to the waves of yogis in deep meditation.  Knitting has even been called "the new yoga"!

What about all of those unfinished projects in the closet?   Don't worry about them, your brain waves don't care if you finished them or not.  Remember it is not the end product, but the process that is most important. Read more about your brain and crafting in the November 2012 MS Living Magazine. Sorry, I can't give you a link to the article yet, you will have to buy or borrow the magazine.

Alice in Wonderland Bracelet
In my last blog, I told everyone I was getting a copy of Alice in Wonderland.  Well here is my first project.  The bracelet is made with the pages of the book and some corrugated cardboard.  I used charms and three different chains to make it a little more interesting.  The bracelet is posted on my Etsy site.

Remember the Craft Fair on October 27th in Croton, more info to follow.

Next time I will show you more creations made from my garage sale finds and maybe a coupon for the craft fair!

Talk to you soon,


Thursday, October 4, 2012

Flea Market Fun & Some New Stuff

Vintage  Paper Beads
Gray & Crystal Necklace and a crazy Pin

These are some of my recent finds at garage sales and flea markets.  I think my best find was the old paper bead necklace.  No one really knew what it was, but it was pretty apparent to me.  The crystal necklace and the pin will be taken apart and recycled into new jewelry--you will see it here in a few weeks!  I will probably keep the paper bead necklace as is, it will be a great sample to show at my workshops.

During the past several weeks I made one more memory wire bracelet.  It is a great color combination, neon green and violet.  It wraps around your wrist 6 times and shows off  11 paper beads.  What a great statement piece, you will get tons of compliments. And it has been posted on my Etsy site.

Violet and Neon Green Memory Wire Bracelet 

I have also been working on chunky sparkly bracelet, full of pearls and crystals.  A bracelet that will add bling to your holiday fashions or even a wedding dress.  There are about 50 pearls and crystals in this bracelet and 12 vintage buttons. Most of the crystals and pearls are recycled from old jewelry. I like it very much, you will have to let me know what you think.

Chunky Pearl and Crystal Bracelet
I plan to make a cuff of soft pale suede and add vintage buttons, crystals and pearls.  It will be the same colors as this bracelet but a whole different look. And I just got a recycled "Alice in Wonderland" book to fashion into bracelets, necklace and earrings.

I expect to send my first constant contact newsletter out next week.  There is a 20% off coupon attached.  Coupon is good either on line or you can bring it to my next craft fair in Croton on October 27th.  If you don't get a copy of the newsletter and you want one, just notify me at annemadethis@gmail.com.  And Halloween bracelets are still available, check my Etsy site!

OK, that's it for today.  Hope to see you all soon.