Wednesday, December 30, 2009

My Etsy Christmas

Most of the Etsy Forum frequenters know about the sometimes nasty separation my husband and I are going through, and the financial hardship it has put me in.

I was certain that this would be the worst holiday season that me or my children would ever face. However, with the help of fellow Etsians, this was the most amazingly magical holiday, and I will never forget it! and drdjc "adopted" my family, ensuring that my two little boys had much to open, and that I had much to be thankful for. They both did WAY more than I could ever hope for, but they both even sent me gifts! Who doesn't like presents? :)
However, this isn't all about presents. This is about kindness, compassion and love. The generosity of these two women, along with other Etsians (,, and who helped me this season affected not only me, but everyone else that was able to witness the joy in the boys' eyes as they ripped open their gifts sent from all over the world. Even my husband really seemed to appreciate what may be the last Mather family holiday, as he held me and the boys close.

It was a truly beautiful day, and I want to thank the Etsy community for it!

(p.s., sorry about the crappy pics! I had to use my phone.. lol)

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Letters You'll Never Send

Do you ever have a thought in your head that you're dying to express? A secret itching to get out? Pent up frustrations that you just want to scream from the rooftops?

We all do. I write in my journal to clear my head of the toxic clutter, but sometimes I wish someone else would read it. I want to hear people's thoughts and opinions - I just don't want them to know my secret.

This is what inspired my new blog segment, "Letters You'll Never Send." We all sometimes write letters, spending hours finding the right wording, just to crumple up the paper and throw it away. Well, no more.

Submit your letters to me annonymously, and I will publish them on my blog. Then you can connect with other readers who have experienced similar trials and tribulations, or read about others who can see your delimmas in a different perspective.

To submit your letters, you can email me at Please try to keep it under 500 characters (I understand, though, that sometimes you can't help but elaborate). Feel free to submit photos you would like to be included in the blog, but please only post pics of people who have given their consent. And no incriminating photos, please.

I can't wait to see what's on your mind!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Regretsy - Detrimental or Free Publicity? is a website which has no purpose but to make fun of creations found on etsy. Here is their disclaimer:

Don’t get us wrong. We like crafts.

We just don’t like these crafts.

Yes, we know these people put their hearts into it. We know it took hours and hours. We know how mean it is to laugh at their creations. And we regret being the only web site on the internet that makes fun of things.

But what can we do? We’re immature.

Besides, art is totally subjective. Who cares what we think? I barely care and I’m writing this.

There's more, which you can find by clicking the "disclaimer" button at the top of the page from their home page.

When I first heard about, I was appalled. All of these artists work very hard, pouring their heart and soul into their work, only to have their pieces ridiculed by these closed-minded, arrogant jack-asses.

But then I noticed that images that were posted linked directly back to the artist's shop. So I clicked. Much to my suprise, many of these items have been sold!

My theory is that people LOVE something different. Something with a shock factor. Yeah, people post some really mean things in the comments section, but face it - this is really good free publicity! I'm sure hundreds of people visit regretsy every day - in those hundreds of people, someone's probably already got their wallet out.

How does one get on regretsy??

My first thought when I found regretsy was "Oh my god, if one of my cowls or something ever shows up on there, I will DIE!!!"

However, now I'm plotting my entry. What to make? Should it just be flat-out bad, or vulgar? Generally distasteful?

Nah, I don't want to misrepresent my work... However, I am considering a dorkishly cute adult crocheted pointed pixie cap.

What does everyone else think?

Btw, the photo at the top is the Birch Bark Purse by lynncyrart. I think it is beautiful, and I would carry it with me every day!!! However, it was featured on retgretsy. Can you believe it?!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Some call me Huggie.. But Adia can always call me Auntie.

Many of you know of the story of Adia, and how several women -Adia's Aunties - came together to give her a second chance at life.

Most of you also know how it all went awry, not only possibly preventing future help for Adia, but also crushing the spirits of these Aunties who sacrificed so much to help someone they knew they'd never meet.

As I attempted to read the slanderous and nasty accusations following a certain blog post, I found myself wondering where exactly I stood in this whole mess.. After a lot of thought and meditation, I decided to address the subject on my own blog.

Firstly, I whole heartedly believe that everyone involved in what was hoped to become the ADIA Foundation went into it with love, hope, and the best intentions. Especially Nutmegclick. Many of you will call me foolish for believing her, but I have followed her threads from the beginning, and she never once asked for money. She never ASKED people to list charity items. These people did so willingly, on their own accord.

Nutmeg may have not gone about this all in the most appropriate way, but you have to remember that she didn't see a starving kid on the street and say "Oh, hey, I'm going to start a foundation for her!!" She simply saw a starving child and couldn't walk away. She reacted to it all much as I think I would, myself. Things escalated much too quickly, as all of the kind hearted people on etsy offered their help.

The big controversy, I believe, was that she had stolen the money which was donated to help Adia. As this has been proven false, why is there still controversy?

I know the big debate now is whether or not she is reselling and other inappropriate conduct involving her shop. I don't know anything about this, so I can't really make a statement. If any of it is true, fine. How many shops have we all seen with questionable listings? If you don't think it's right, flag it and go on. Do what you would with any other shop.

I wonder how many of you have considered what consequences Nutmeg may suffer due to the lies that have been pursued? Many of you are stating opinions as fact. And even if she is a hippie, did drugs, is/was promiscuous, has a "flowery" vocabulary, spells color "c-o-l-o-u-r" instead of "c-o-l-o-r," who CARES? That doesn't make her a bad person! Guess what guys, I have *gasp* smoked pot before! But I am an awesome person with a good heart. I believe her to be, as well.

I don't know Nutmeg in person. We've talked several times, even before the Adia situation, and I have always liked her. That said, I have no proof that she's honest and warm. I haven't looked up files and records to prove my hunch. Indeed, I'll even admit that I could be very wrong. But my faith that a person could do so much to help another being with no ulterior motive is what keeps me beautiful inside and what gives me peace.

Thank you for reading,
Huggie (a.k.a. hippiehempstress)

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Ahhhhh... Autumn!

I love it! I love the crispness in the air, I love the changing leaves, I love the warm-fuzzy accessories - I love everything about it!

I couple of weeks ago, I started crocheting again. I normally crochet through the bitterly cold months, but I finally realized that I need to start a bit earlier in order to get my product out there when people are ready to buy.

Since I started I have discovered lovely new fashions and patterns. I have officially fallen in love with cowls and fingerless gloves! I've even grown fond of wearing them around the house, just because they're so comfy!

I finally have a few new things listed in my shop:

Once I have a full selection of merchandise completed, I will be moving my shop to

Thank you all for reading, and sorry I hadn't blogged in so long! Hopefully my next blog will come much sooner, and be full of happiness and success!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

R.I.P. Pyewacket

Today, the most amazing cat I have ever known has died. I'll admit, I'm a bit of a cat person... But she was different. She's always seemed more like a person to me than an animal. She's been my friend, not a pet. Today, when I realized that she was gone forever made me really sit and think about what she was to me.

She's a difficult animal to describe. Since the day I got her, I knew she was different. If I was distressed, she consoled me. If I invited a man over that wasn't right for me, she drove him off. If someone visited that I didn't like, she hissed at them and scratched them. If I loved someone, she loved them back. She helped me make tough decisions, and was there for me when times got rough. Many of my life's choices revolved around her, and it never felt strange.

I have always believed in reincarnation, but never really thought hard about it. Today, however, I did - and this is what brings me solace. I really and truely believe that Pywacket wasn't really a cat - not in her heart. She was an old soul stuck in a cat's body, I imagine that relief of being free of that restrictive body must have been great. Now she can move on to a life role that better suits her, and I can only hope that I meet her again in my life. I feel rediculous saying this about a cat, but she was my soul mate (I should mention that I don't believe that soul mates always come in the form of lovers and that everyone has several).

This also brings me to question the philosphy of animal guides/spirit guides. I've always considered them to be an invisible force... But she came into my life just when I really needed her, and now that my life has some sort of substance and stability to it, she's gone. Was she my spirit guide? I'd like to know what others think of this.

Anyway.. Thanks for reading. I hope she knows that I'll always be thinking of her.

Friday, June 26, 2009

My Greatest Adventure

I have recently been asked to write a column for the an awesome news site called Handmade News. Basically, is a website dedicated to keeping artisans up to date on the crafty world with topics ranging from craft techniques, marketing, business tips, crafty kids, and more. I will be writing for the "Inspiration" department.

I am really excited to be given this opportunity. I am as passionate about writing as I am crafting, so obviously this is my dream venue. To be truthful, I am a bit nervous about coming up with topics regarding artist inspiration. However, at this moment my head is reeling with ideas!

If you would like to share your thoughts on what inspires you, please leave me a comment or email me at

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Crafter Comradery

If there is one thing I love about being an artist, it's that all of us are in it together. The first year I did a craft show, I was ready for the competition. The "competition," however, noticed that I was a newbie, and invited himself over to my booth to show me a better method of closure on my jewelry. I still use that better method, and I think of him every time a customer comments on it.

You see, being an artisan isn't just about making the sale and having the upper hand. It's about belonging to a community of like-minded folks who just want to share their creativity and inspiration. It's about creating a beautiful world to live in, and leaving our fingerprints for the next generation. It's about being involved, and being remembered.

To all of you artists and crafters that I've met over the years in person or on Etsy, thank you. Thank you for your thoughts, ideas, and criticism. Thank you for your honesty. Thank you for your friendship. Thank you for helping to create the world around me. Thank you for showing me the depths of your soul.

Most importantly, thank you for BEING. Where would the world be without artists? It, for sure, would not be a world that I would want to live in.

Blue Plum Festival 2009

Yesterday was the kickoff of the 10th Annual Blue Plum Festival in Downtown Johnson City, Tennessee. This is a festival centered around arts, crafts, music, and BEER! All you have to do is purchase a wristband and you are free to roam the streets and peruse the crafty merchandise, beer in hand. :)

Year before last, I was lucky enough to set up and sell my wares at the festival. That weekend, I was living my dream. I met wonderful people and made lots of money. Unfortunately, this year and last, I was unable to open shop due to our financial struggle.

As I roamed the festival last year, it was clear to me that I wasn't the only one in this situation. There were less than half of the vendors that normally attend. And not only were there vendors missing, there were fewer customers as well. I was actually a bit glad I hadn't scrounged up enough money to attend as a vendor, because I almost certainly wouldn't have made it back.

This year, I was happily suprised to find that many of the previous year's vendors had returned. I haven't heard any numbers yet, but I'm sure there are more customers attending, as well. While it's a bummer that I wasn't able to set up as I planned, this still gives me a reason to be optimistic for next year!

How has the economy affected the craft shows and fairs in your area? I would love to hear from fellow crafters in this situtaion. :)

Friday, June 5, 2009

ACV, Day 3

Day 3 of my ACV diet is coming to a close. Have I lost any weight? Not likely. Am I full of energy? Um... No. However, I have noticed a dramatic loss of appetite. Yesterday I only ate once. Today, I realized that only eating once a day isn't very healthy, so even now as I type, I am forcing myself to stuff down some grilled turkey and some carrots...
The lack of appetite could honestly be due to the heat. I rarely feel like cooking when it's how outside. However, today was a mild day (mid 70's) and I have lean pockets and other microwavables on hand. Really all that I've had an appetite for is my apple cider vinegar. :)
This brings me to overcoming the taste. On day one, I mixed one glass of ACV water. I chugged down 1/4 of it, and couldn't take anymore. It was way too replusive. I couldn't even bring myself to attempt it in something else, and honey didn't help at all.
On day 2, I tried it straight. I loooove the taste of ACV on my fish, and on chips, so why not just take a teaspoon and get it over with? Whoa, was that a mistake! It burned worse than a shot of Bacardi 151! It did, however get rid of my heartburn. I can't figure that one out! lol
Then, last night I had a genius idea. I mixed my 3 tsp of ACV into a one liter bottle of lipton's lemon sweet tea. After a few sips, I couldn't even taste the vinegar! And now, it tastes wonderful to me. :) It gives the lemon a little extra kick. Today I mixed 2 tsp into 1/2 a liter, and it tasted even better.
So, how's it working for everyone else? Noticing any changes in your skin? Feeling less of an appetite? I would love to get comments, letting me know if this is doing anything for anyone else. Thanks for reading!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

No 'Poo, Week 2

So, today marks the 2nd week of no shampoo. I do notice that may hair is just a little bit oilier than normal, as it adjusts to not using shampoo. It's not so bad, though. I still wash my hair every other day, like I always did before. I expect that I'll be able to wash it less often as my hair no longer tries to overcompensate with oil.
I still love the way that washing my hair with baking soda and vinegar makes my hair feel! Then after my shower, I smooth the tiniest bit of coconut out on the ends to keep it smooth, and to make sure the baking soda doesn't dry it out. I also use my homemade gel concotion that I'm still trying to perfect.
Basically boil 1/2 cup water and stir in around 1 tsp of gelatin, and refrigerate. I've been experimenting with adding extra things to it. I originally tried adding coconut oil to it, but once you put it in the fridge the oil hardens and turns into flakes... I also added honey, which gives it extra hold, but if you put too much honey in, or use too much gel, your hair gets crunchy. lol. I also add orange extract because it smells yummy, and orange is supposed to be good for your hair. The gel comes out a little bit different every day as I toy around with it, but I'm always somewhat happy with the results!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Is it a weight loss miracle?

While I was searching for different household uses for vinegar (what can I say - I have a little free time on my hands.. lol), I found myself at This is the MECCA of home remedies. And what did I find? A weight loss secret that really seems to work (according to over 120 testimonials on the site). Other home rememdies they suggested had up to 8 or 9 success stories, but 126 for plain ol' apple cider vinegar is astounding! Basically you just add 2 teaspoons into 16oz of water, and sip it throughout the day.

I read 7 pages of these testimonials, and you evidently have a better chance of losing weight if you are obese. Those who only had a few pounds to lose had a hard time losing it. However, those who didn't lose weight DID notice that they had more energy, decreased appetite, lowered blood pressure, "glowing" skin, and were recieving complements that they looked years younger! See for yourself! :)

So, I will be beginning this diet today, and I really encourage others to start it with me. Anyone care for a little friendly competition?? ;)

Btw, before you run to walmart and grab a $0.50 bottle of ACV, you need to actually go to a health food store and get raw, organic, unfiltered apple cider vinegar, and make sure it has "the mother." I got mine from Earth Fare, and the only brand they had that had "the mother" was "Bragg" brand.

I don't know what "the mother" is exactly, except that the bottle says it "occurs naturally as connected strand-like chains of protein enzyme molecules..." It's supposed to be important, though.

Another thing you should know is that the vinegar can be harmful to the enamel on your teeth. Some people put a bit of baking soda with their vinegar to neutralize it, but earth clinic warns against this, stating that some people experience a bad effect with this. What you should do, though, is rinse with water after taking the vinegar. Don't brush your teeth immediately, though, because it can open the pores in your teeth, causing even more damage.

So, I guess that's that! I hope everyone that tries this has wonderful results! And if you do, please comment and let me know! Also, for those who want to join me in my diet, you may comment here, or email me at

Good luck!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Go green with handmade Soap Sacks!

We all want to do our part to help the environment. We try to recycle what we can, reuse what we can... But the #1 goal is really to REDUCE waste. That's why I like to buy handmade soap off of Most crafters are good about not over-packaging their products, and the boxes and envelopes can be reused. Body washes, conditioners, and shampoos all produce SO MUCH waste!
But, I lovelovelove body poufs that you use with body wash. Unfortunately, they don't work so well with bar soap. That's why I created the Soap Sack. Just throw your bar of soap it, and you're good to go until the soap is gone. Some I make with plain cotton, some are cotton on one side, hemp on the other. The hemp feels wonderful, exfoliating your whole body. :) What I like best about this is that there's not icky slimy soap dish. The soap and bag air dry, leaving your shower clean. Also, if you have several "slivers" of soap that you would normally just throw away, you can toss them all in the bag, and they "fuse" together as you use them. Another way to reduce waste!
These, along with original handcrafted hemp jewelry can be purchased in my Etsy shop!

Going green with No 'Poo!

Wow, well, I guess this is my new blog! I've had lots of inspiration and new projects lately, and I've really wanted to share all of my findings. For the last few weeks, I've been working very hard to become "greener." I've been finding new ideas every day, and I've very excited about it!

Today, I'm going to tell you about my favorite lifestlye change thus far: The "No 'Poo Method."

No, it's not what you're probably thinking! Basically, I've decided to give up shampoo and conditioner FOREVER! I'm only in my second week of it, so I can't say for sure how it will work out. But I'm definitely liking it so far! The chemicals they dump in shampoo strip all of the oils out of your hair, which makes your hair produce MORE oil. Then you have to wash it every day or every other day. Turns out if you clean it naturally, it doesn't produce oil nearly as quickly. Some people who are dedicated to the no 'poo method only have to wash their hair once or twice a week, or even as rarely as once a month! You will, of course, still need to rinse with warm water in the shower ever so often to get the debris out. When you forst begin, there may be a period often referred to as the "detox period." Basically, you're hair continues to over produce oil because it's not used to not being abused by the chemicals. Don't worry, though, this won't last forever. It's well worth it, too!

Here's what you'll need:

  • Baking soda

  • Vinegar (either kind will work, but apple cider smells better, I think)

  • Honey (optional)

Here's what you do with it:

  1. Mix baking the soda with water. You'll have to experiment with the ratio to find what best suits your hair. I started by using 1/4 cup of baking soda to about 1 cup of water. It feels pretty gritty. Now I use about 1/8 cup instead and it just feels like water. I think the more baking soda you use, the more it dries out your hair. So maybe use less if you have dry hair, and more if you have oily hair.

  2. Apply the mixture to your hair. I originally started out by wetting my hair and dumping it on, working it through the roots. Now, I make the mixture in a spray bottle and spritz it into my roots, then comb it through.

  3. Rinse.

  4. Mix 1 part vinegar with 3 parts water

  5. Pour or spray this all over your hair. Yes, it smells, but the smell rinses away. If there is a little bit of smell left after you rinse, it goes away as your hair dries. Also, some people say only to use it on the ends of your hair, but I find that it helps with my dandruff. It feels so good going on. :) Instant itch relief! WARNING: Do NOT pour the vinegar after you shave your legs!

  6. Rinse.

  7. (Optional) Coat your hair with honey. It is supposed to be a humectant, sealing moisture into your locks. The vinegar by itself is a wonderful conditioner, but my hair did seem a bit softer and shinier after using the honey. I will probably only use that occasionally, though.

  8. Rinse.

I have thick wavy/curly hair, and I just cannot go out without using some sort of product in my hair. I did discover, though, that using a little bit of coconut oil did WONDERS for controlling frizz and flyaways.

I also found a recipe for hair gel that's fantastic! A combination of the two is perfect. I'll post the hair gel recipe another time, or if you need it now, just google "Homemade Hair Gel."

I hope you found this helpful!