EPIC Room Makeover UPDATE

Have you seen Mandi's update #1 on my 


Well, hop on over...I'll wait.

Back?  GREAT!

What did you think of this one?

Photo belongs to Mandi Gubler, Vintage Revivals

Who knew a grown woman could get THAT excited over sawing an angled piece of MDF?!?  
{ note - this was about 36 oz. into my 52 oz. COKE }

So you saw Mandi's AFTER shot of last night?!? 

Photo belongs to Mandi Gubler, Vintage Revivals

Wanna see mine?!?

Check out the SIZE of that SODA!!!

Good thing the hubs is on the road cuz otherwise I'd have some serious 'splaining to do ;-)

Teacup Spirits

Here is a new pattern for an even smaller Spirit doll.  Teacup Spirits!  They are just under five inches tall, and inspired by my little Lati White Belle.    They have movable heads and shoulders, and pose-able limbs.  Once I got the pattern the way I liked it (took four tries!), it only takes about an hour and a half to crochet the little doll.

Tiny wigs from laceweight mohair, fingering weight yarn, or embroidery floss cap these little darlings off very nicely.

This wig was made from laceweight mohair/silk yarn.  A little goes a long way!  It is 7/8 oz and 195 yards.  I used a size 1 steel hook, and made chain loops for the curls.

This wig was made from fingering weight wool yarn.  It is 1 3/4 oz, 310 yards.  I used a size 1 steel hook, and this wig is removable.  If you make the cap a little smaller, I bet it would fit a Lati White or PukiPuki BJD :-)

This wig is made from embroidery floss, which is fantastic at this scale.  All those colors!  It takes three or four skeins of floss to make a wig; for this long wig it took three skeins.  To make crocheting the wig cap easier, I wrap the floss around a floss bobbin before crocheting.  If you need another skein to finish the cap (I did) just wrap it around your empty bobbin and tie it on to your working strand.  Make sure the knots are on the inside of the cap.

This cute, curly cap is made from worsted weight boucle yarn.  A bit big for this scale, and the stitches are not so easy to see, but still doable with a size C crochet hook.  And any mistakes are invisible in all these curls :-)

Click the link for the Teacup Spirits Pattern,  or you can also find it on the left sidebar of this blog.

Think small!  Clothing patterns to follow :-)

Cool Whip & Fruit Dessert {recipe}


Cool Whip {me likey the extra creamy king}
Sliced Strawberries

Start with your sliced strawberries...

Then spread some whip cream over them and top with blueberries.

Spread another layer of whip cream on there and top with either strawberries or blueberries {clearly I'm a strawberry lover}...

And voila...


Iron Pour in Lanesboro

About a year ago, we posted an article about an iron pour that took place in Lanesboro. Click here to read that article.

The Lanesboro Art Center is again hosting an Iron Pour and you have an opportunity to participate. Participants will carve a reverse relief designs into pre-made sand molds to prepare them for the iron pour. Then watch as crews pour hot, molten iron into the molds. It's an amazing event you won't want to miss.

Click here to find out more information.

Cover Reveal

Yay! I get to reveal the cover for Hallowed!

I woke up this morning to discover that the cover had been loaded to Goodreads and was floating all over the web, which is kind of a bummer, since usually these cover reveals are a big deal and the publisher very carefully times when you can reveal them. :( No idea how it leaked out, but it leaked, so now I've been given the green light to show you all!

Yay! I get to reveal the cover!!!

So here it is:

Of course it will be all silvery and shiny like the UNEARTHLY cover was, so this image won't really do it justice. And it's blue this time. I will have to get me some blue sharpies.

I love it.

Mountains and lake in the background. Pretty cloudbursts. Pretty girl. Pretty swirly lettering with a feather.


Hope you love it too!

Blank Canvas...

Remember my Master Bedroom?!?

Ya!  That one...

Well, after much WORK, this is what it looks like now!

 {yes...the bed is still unmade!!!}

Who knew my room could look like this?!?

Now...are y'all as excited about my makeover as I am?!?

Check back often 
{over the next 2 1/2 weeks} 
to see what Mandi does with this 

HandmadeMN Giveaway - Penguin Palace Photography

By Jessica of Clay By Clay

Congratulations to our latest giveaway winner! Thanks to all who entered and we wish you good luck with this week's giveaway!

This week Erin of Penguin Palace Photography is giving away this beautiful pendant.

The pendant features image of clouds taken from the window of an airplane. The photo is set into an antique silver pendant and covered in resin. The resin is water resistant but not waterproof (so no swimming!). It also includes a matching silver chain.
Open to US and International residents.

How to Enter:

Visit Penguin Palace Photography and pick your favorite item and leave a comment on this post about it. (Scroll to bottom of post and click on Comments)

Please make sure we have a way to contact you!

For Bonus Entries:

Please leave each in a separate comment, as each comment is an entry (To qualify for extra entries you must do step one above).

1. Visit other HandmadeMN team members shops (listed in the sidebar here) and leave a comment(s) here with your favorite pieces.

2. Blog about this giveaway with a visible link back to this posting and comment here with a link to your post.

3. Tweet about this giveaway and leave a comment(s) with a link to your tweet(s).

4. Follow our blog (you want to do this anyway to learn about upcoming giveaways!). Leave a comment here letting us know you are a follower. If you are already a follower, leave a comment anyway, as each comment is an entry.

5.  Follow HandmadeMN on Twitter. Comment back here with your Twitter link. Existing followers just leave your Twitter link here.

6.  Follow Penguin Palace on Twitter. Comment back here with your Twitter link. Existing followers just leave your Twitter link here.

7.  Become a Facebook Fan of HandmadeMN. Comment back here with your Facebook name. Existing fans just leave your Facebook name here.

Contest ends Saturday, July 9, 2011, at 12:00 noon Central. One winner will be chosen by Random.org.

Good luck!

HandmadeMN members are not eligible to win.

Summer Flowers 2011

The flowers just outside our front door. 

Fun Friday Finds—Rose Fever!

By Sharon Parker ~ Arty Didact

An eccentric old man once told me, in late June after I had sneezed, that I had rose fever. You know: like hay fever. Well, I'm happy to report that roses do not make me sneeze—I've stuck my nose in them often enough to be certain! But I think I do have rose fever of a different sort, and who doesn't? Judging by the amount and variety of rose-themed art among the members of the Minnesota Etsy team, I'd say we all do!

I hope you get outside this weekend during the respite from our monsoon season and smell the roses!

Rose Fever, with Love, from Minnesota!

(Click on the image to go to the Etsy Treasury)

Visit these HandmadeMN shops to see more:
Click on any of the names below
Second Row (Left to Right): Apple Berry Ink, Riyah Li Designs, Lolly Bop Baby, Cindy Lindgren
Third Row (Left to Right): Julie Meyer, Green Squirrel, The Mad Stamper, Regan's Brain

Summer Romance (Incubus)

Dear fashion and summer lovers, finally the day has come for my covetable vacation. Nick and I have been waiting for this for weeks and we are extremely excited! 5 days on a beautiful greek island together. Hurray!!! Just before I leave bloggerland, I thought I should make a post about the summer that we all love so much. But when you think about summer what are the very first things that come to your mind??? Well, for me summer is:

Golden sand beaches
Colourful bikinis
Denim shorts
Flat sandals
Delicious cocktails
Fashionable sunglasses
Love and romance
Tanned bodies
Chocolate and vanilla ice creams
Car rides with friends

Exotic dream places
Walks in greek islands
Sun burning in my face all day

So what is summer for you??? Tell me all about your thoughts! Time is running out and my luggage have to be done soon. I promise I will come back with lots of summery photos, possitive energy and new inspirations. Kisses to all and have a great weekend!

Fashionably yours


O Wondrous Night

Yesterday I finished up the next round of edits for HALLOWED, which means that we're getting very close to having the book ready to send to production. Whew. This book has been a doozy to write, let me tell you, but of course it's totally been worth all the long hours, tears, and contractions (there was a time in February where I was having major Braxton Hicks contractions while I was trying to finish that round of edits, and they stopped pretty much as soon as I sent the draft off to my editor. Clearly I was stressed. . .).

There's a reason why writers talk in hushed voices about the terror of writing the sophomore novel.

For me, writing the second book was an entirely different experience than writing the first one. With Unearthly I spent every day for six months at my computer (generally during my son's naptime), moving along at the average pace of 800 words a day. It grew slowly, and I started nearly every writing session by circling back over what I had already written, revising as I went.

With Hallowed I didn't have anywhere near that kind of leisure. I was pregnant. Teaching two classes at Pepperdine. Working on marketing and promotional stuff for Unearthly. And running after my four year old, who no longer took his nap. To top it off, my husband had to go out of town for almost a month during the summer! It's no surprise that, under these conditions, the writing didn't exactly flow out of me the way it did when I wrote Unearthly.

During that time I wrote the following email to my agent. The subject line was : One of those nights! Woohoo!

I thought I'd share it now:
So, last night. Very hot. No AC. Been feeling horrid all day (see: hot, no AC, terrible stomach with no desire to eat anything, which only leads the stomach to become more terrible) then actually veered the car over 2 lanes when I saw the $2 sign for biscuit and gravy at Denny's. Haven't eaten at a Denny's in possibly more than 10 years. Ate the $2 biscuits and gravy, which was fine, but very Denny's quality. Drove to grocery store, bought sausage and milk to make my own biscuits and gravy. Came home. Really freaking hot in the house. Too hot to cook. Tried to write. Will's in daycare, which means I really MUST write, otherwise it is wasted money. Tried for a couple of hours to write. Like pulling teeth. Miserable. Finally went to see Inception (which I liked btw) just to cool off. Went and bought two huge fans. Picked up Will. Spent evening putting together the fans. Still too hot to cook. We ate cereal for dinner. No real writing done all day. Feeling failure stifling me like the heat. Still lately my writing has been uninspired, work, not play. Been feeling panicky about it, like can I do this? In such a short space? Pregnant and cloudy-headed and sick all the time and exhausted by 2pm? Why will this book 2 come not to me?!!!! How can a little life form the size of a pencil eraser be playing such havoc on my body?!!! Why now? Clearly casting around for a metaphorical paper bag to breathe into.

So, in essence, horrid day.

Fast forward to 2am, one of the big fans blowing directly over my bed. Woke to a huge crash outside my open window. Completely terrified, clutching baseball bat by the bed, cursing stupid insensitive husband who thought it was a great idea to leave his pregnant wife home alone. Crashing outside continues. Turns out to be a possum? Raccoon? Some large creature eating the plums out of our plum tree. I can actually hear munching.

I wait to fall back to sleep. Munching creature. Fan that sounds like an airplane taking off.

And then:

tidal wave of book 2 inspiration. I turn on the light, grab notebook by the bed, and write what turns out to be about 15 handwritten pages of notes. It just comes pouring out, complete with dialogue in places. A totally improved arc for almost the entire book, all the way to a few scenes before the end. So, in essence, an outline of the book, scene by scene, sometimes coming in order, sometimes not, but understanding completely how it all weaves together: Clara, Christian, Maggie, Jeffrey, Angela, Tucker, Wendy, even a bit of Kay. Kept going back to bed and having to reach over and turn on the light again to write just one more thing. And one more thing. And one more thing. Then laid in bed for an hour just wanting to write it all out, get it ALL on paper as quickly as possible.

Marvelous night! O wondrous night!

This morning: thrashed of course. Exhausted feeling in my stomach. Need to take Will off to tee-ball.

But first I'm going to make us some biscuits and gravy.

Looking back, I honestly don't know how I made it through, except that I was determined to keep writing. And that's the lesson I get out of all of us. Sometimes it's not easy. But keep at it, keep jumping over your obstacles, and the magic will hit you when you least expect it.

Such is the mystery of writing.

Now I'm going to go play me some video games, for the one-whole-day I'm going to allow myself to simply waste my brain power before I start working on Book 3 (which I am totally excited to get to, btw!)

And, in you live near San Diego, come to my signing at the Mysterious Galaxy bookstore at 2pm on Saturday. I'll be there with Timothy Power and Greg Van Eekhout kicking off the Summer Reading for Teens and Tweens.

Bleu Faerie Finished!

Bleu is finished, wings and all.  Patterns for the basic doll, wire wings, and how to make a sweet dress from crochet lace are available on this blog.  Check out the left sidebar under Pocket Spirits.

Thinking even smaller Spirits are in the future :-)

Inspirational Style: Olivia Palermo #2

My dearests, another week has come (with many new purchases for me) and it was about time to complete my tribute to Olivia Palermo by posting the second part for her style. If you haven't had the chance to read part one, you can find it here. As I have already told you, Olivia is my favourite style icon from nowadays celebrities (apart from Audrey who is my absolute eternal queen of style). In the first post I uploaded some of her casual and street style looks. This one is dedicated to all her formal, more glamorous looks and red carpet appearances. To tell you the truth I just can't get enough of her. I found the best inspirational outfits ever between these photos!!! What do you think??? Which one is your favourite? I wish you a great week, with lots of plans for summer holidays!Kisses to all :)

Fashionably yours