Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas Wishes

My French Life by Vicki Archer just arrived in the post today on Christmas Eve. I have been waiting for this book all year and boy was it worth the wait. It has a beautiful floral binding and the end pages are heavily textured. The book features gorgeous color photographs of France on every page and it even has a lovely red silk page marker.
In Northern, IL we are in the midst of an ice storm and have lost power twice. The trees are covered in a thick coating of ice and branches droop down to the ground. If any of them are fortunate enough to survive, I am going to treat them to a feast of fertilizer and food this Spring. Poor things. The hens are snug in their barn, the cookies are all baked, and little one is tracking Santa through Europe at the moment on the NORAD website
So, I plan on wallowing in this wonderful book all Christmas Day. Even if the power goes out again, teacup candle at the ready....

I hope you all get your heart's desire this holiday season. Merry Christmas xo

Sunday, December 13, 2009

1 Year Blog-iversary

1/12 Hook Shelf

Time flies! This month marks my one year anniversary of blogging. The first post on December 3, 2008 was about making Christmas cards from Etsy supplies. Not much change there, I just did that again last week. It's been so fun to meet all of you in blogland and get a peek into each other's lives.

What a year this has been. Is it me or was 2009 very eventful? Bit like a spin in a washing machine in Jemjoop land. Not even just the recession and money issues, just everything else too. No doubt I'm not the only one looking forward to 2010 and good times to come. I hope everyone has a safe, healthy, and happy new year and maybe a little bit of fun thrown in for good measure.

I'm hoping to find more balance, probably you're hoping for the same. I'd like to be a little more organized with my time. It's a rae every weekend to keep up with the errands, chores, and ever present TO DO list. Things got a little wonky when the baby was born (he's 1 today!) and then again when I got a full time job. Oliver is an angel, no trouble at all. Give him a snack and he's happy. The new job quickly got out of hand and has pretty much required overtime every week since September. No complaints but things do have to slide around the house when Mom gets busy. Nevermind the fun stuff like hobbies and blogging. That 100 Books in 2009 almost worked, I'm currently at 61 and can probably squeeze in two more library trips before December 31st. Not a bad finish. But, I've not blogged as regularly as when I began but it's a goal. I have managed to keep up with Etsy orders and every once in awhile even add new stuff to the shop. It's been a real treat to make miniatures on a day off or before my shift starts. They are a real de-stresser and the chance to be creative sure helps to recharge my batteries.

Pancakes, nom nom.

Many, many thanks to you all for peeking in from time to time and saying hello. It's a treat to read your blogs. See you soon...

1/12 Winter Crates

And finally, since the holidays are upon us again, I'll repost this little tidbit from little one's elementary school newsletter-

Top Ten Requested Teacher Gifts:

1. Books

2. Gift Cards

3. Board Games

4. Stickers

5. Stamp/Stamp Pads

6. Coffee

7. Fun Magnets

8. School Supplies

9. Fun Pens & Pencils

10. Food

Monday, November 30, 2009

Dear Nana and Papa

A letter writing assignment by Luke, age 8:

"Hello Nana and Papa

I hope you have a Merry Christmas, you will receive this as a present for Christmas.

I hope you didn't have any repairs to your house. I hope your state isn't doing anything bad.

You are fortunate that you have a grandson like me and a little grandson too. I hope you didn't have any catastrophes or any happenings or both.

I wish you lived with me so you could help me with mistakes and problems. And you could also comfort me when the Earth is heaving.

With love from,
Miss Carlson's 3rd Grade Class"

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Cute Handmade

How exciting, Brooke at is featuring my Etsy shop "Jemjoop" on her blog today. Thank you Brooke! :O)

Check out her cute Etsy promotions and submit your shop or recommend your fave Etsians.

She also Twitters at

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Speed Reader

Awhile back I gamely joined the blog challenge to read 100 books in 2009. It is October 14th (already?) and I have only read 40. Books 41 and 42 are not finished yet. Alas, has anyone ever read 60 books in 2 1/2 months? Probably not. Well, at least I've read 40 books that might not have gotten read without the little push of a challenge like this one. It was a good justification for the $120 something fee we had to pay to join the nearest library for the year.

Particular stand outs were the biographies of Amelia Earhart, Martha Stewart, and Queen Elizabeth. Cherie Blair's was really interesting too, very down to Earth sort of person but highly intelligent. Elizabeth was chosen on a whim, it was on the shelf end as I was passing by. It did turn out to be fascinating and well worth the late fees for keeping it an extra week so it could be finished. I read Martha & Elizabeth back-to-back and I was amazed at the personality differences in the two. Both women of power, one rules with an iron fist and makes grown men cry and the other is extremely well thought of and known by everyone to be pleasant on every occasion for the last 60 years. Guess which was which? Now, I do love me some Martha but if Queen Elizabeth has the time and the discipline to be nice...tsk tsk

The Lost Men by Kelly Tyler Lewis was another fascinating book, and again well worth the extra late fees for keeping it a week past it's due date. The story of the two- year deprivation of the men chosen to lay the food depots for Sir Ernest Shackleton's ill-fated Endurance trip to the South Pole.

There is another book I'm hankering to read called My French Life by Vicki Archer that's supposed to be very good. I keep just missing it on eBay. Maybe this is the week. I'm feeling lucky...

Has anybody read something yummy lately?

Friday, September 25, 2009

This week...

I am enjoying these:

I am reading this:

I have bought these:

And somebody's Nana made him a new hat:

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

New Shoes

Just a quick look in to say howdy do. I am having sneaky peeks at the Halloween updates on some of your blogs.

Still busy a bit with the new schedule. Paying off some old bills and building a big sleep debt instead. This week I get to work two night shifts which. will. be. awesome. Can you feel the enthusiasm.

Being here in a flyover state, we've got lots of corn all around. It's mostly animal feed corn & soy around here. They are starting to get ready for harvest and the combines are beginning to appear at the edges of fields. Keep meaning to grab the camera and snap a pic for you. Perhaps today, we've got a bit of a warm sunny week.

Not much to report. I did buy some shoes. Not really a shoe person so, for me, buying two pairs is kind of an event. I have winter boots, summer flip flops, and Birkenstocks for the times in between. I wanted Uggs for a long time and treated myself to some in 2006, after beginning my miniature business on eBay. A treat to me, if you will. Then that Fall we moved to NY and I took little one out trick-or-treating on a cold, wet Halloween. Uggs got all wet and I left them on the heating register overnight to dry off. Yes, they melted. Melted the soles and warped them both. So, new Uggs. I got these nifty little gray "Cardy" Uggs like Anna wears in the show Being Human (I love her whole outfit, actually. She is a ghost so she only got to wear one outfit for the entire series.)

And then I got myself a spunky little pair of indigo blue Chucks that are slip-ons with elastic-no tiresome shoelaces. Hubs and the teenager wear Chucks so that's just me jumping on the bandwagon.

Next up in Jemjoopland we'll be decorating the house for Halloween and taking the kidlets out to corn mazes and the pumpkin farm.

It's all glamour here now, posting about shoes. Sorry about that, I promise to try and get a life soon! :O)

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Catching Up

Are you there's me, Jemjoop!

Hello, hello I confess that it has been 23 days since my last post. I got a job! And I missed you all!

So...I don't even have any recent pictures on my computer from August at all. I'm not even sure where my camera is, which has never happened before. Above is a thatched wooden Michael's Craft Store house that I made into a little Irish cottage for my good friend's cough40thcough birthday. I love that little handmade silver horseshoe on the door. My grandpa always had one of those hanging up in his garage for luck. He wasn't Irish, he was born in Scotland, but he did have a horse so half a point for him.

There is some catching up to do on all of your blogs, I have Flickr updates from a lot of you dating back to August 11th, not to mention the housework and library books piling up around the place. There may be some speed reading since everything is probably at maximum renewal time. I am even missing all of my favorite shows like Flipping Out, Top Chef, and Project Runway :O( waaahhh.

But, I had some very-very-very lucky news in the first week of August. After four months of job searching everywhere I got a call out of the blue that a local recruiter found my resume on (quick, put your resumes on and they had a couple of positions that I might like to consider. One of them was...working from home. Yes, sold, thank you. They found that I had been a transcriptionist at several jobs previously, but the job I am doing is editing medical reports. But they don't call it editing they call it I am QA'g So I have been training in-house at a local firm for the last 3 weeks from 7:00 to 3:30 then racing like a crazy person. Cue emergency search for babysitter, manic clothes shopping for professional stuffs, crazy house cleaning, frantic house planning dinners-laundry-groceries-schedules-argh! and that's where I have been. I was home for 8 years raising boys so it was a bit all-change, but I'm getting back into the swing of things. I bought this rose-covered yummy lunch sack from Etsy's SandraKay :

And these were a mouse-clicking necessity from ArtFire's Casual Cottage :

Friday is my LAST day of in-house training (yay!) and on Monday I start working 4:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon shift from home. They originally hired me for the 11:00 p.m. to 7:00 a.m. graveyard 3rd shift, but thank goodness they changed their minds because I'm definitely a morning person and didn't quite know how I was going to manage staying up all night. Isn't it strange to have a proper shift when you work from home, but it's a 24-hour turnaround on these reports and they have everyone set up for specific hours. So if you felt like sleeping in and starting your shift late, it would mess up everyone else and you would get into deep doo doo and probably get yourself a stern talking to.

Have you all been rushing around like mad people too? Getting children off to first-day-of school, and supply shopping, and tired children not waking up early very easily because they are too tanned and lazy from summer lounging and just 5 more minutes mom...


Monday, August 3, 2009

Kim Has Issued a Challenge

A Challenge has been put forth by Miniaturist extraordinaire, Kim Saulter. She blogs at It's A Miniature Life
1. open the 4th file where you store your photos...
2. pick out the 4th photo & publish it to your blog...
3. explain a bit about it...
4. pass this challenge to 4 other blogs....

So here is the photo from my 4th picture file 4th picture. Dated 4/28/09 it's baby boy goodies from the Etsy Virtual Baby Shower in January 2009 when Olly was just 1 month old. And, apparently, a good time to develop January photos is in April o_0. These were all made by a lovely Etsy seller called Little Mamas

I blogged about the Shower here too:

Luckily this picture is in focus, cropped, and Etsy related. Wasn't sure what was going to show up; could have been a tree, could have been little one taking pictures of people's feet again. Bit of a pot luck on my hard drive.

Now I need to pass this challenge on to 4 other blog friends.....
Cathy at The Fabulous Farmhouse

Julie at Pieceful Bits

Kathy at Vintage Catnip

Jody at Shabby N Chic

What will you turn up, it's kind of fun. Passing it along to you guys now. Thanks Kim!

Monday, July 27, 2009


Littlefee "Flora"

Well, like I needed a new hobby in my life...but I seem to have found one.

Dolls, surprisingly, haven't really been an interest of mine even though I'm a miniaturist. Mainly I specialize in furniture and accessories as houses in general are a real passion of mine. I took a few miniature doll classes but never really got that doll bug.

Then this past February, my wonderful friend Kim was downsizing her Blythe collection and was extremely (extremely) kind in sending two my way (thanks Kim!), a Pow Wow Poncho and an I Love You It's True. So I have been having much fun ever since customizing their faces and outfitting them from Etsy and eBay. My husband then bought me a lilac-haired Prima Dolly Violetina in March that I had been drooling over, that one was customised by Tam at

Soooooo, last Saturday I took these three Blythe girls of mine and went to a doll meetup in Madison, Wisconsin that was a semi-Blythe/BJD group called Dairyland BJD. Members from IL & WI get together a few times during the year and this was the summer meetup. It was potluck so everyone brought a dish to share. The dolls were set up at various tables and there were also sale tables where you could buy or trade doll items. My favorite were the three panel discussions: How to Restring a Doll, History of Dolls, and Making Doll Clothing. They were mostly Dollfie; Super Dollfie (SD) and Miniature Super Dollfie (MSD) and various other smaller types.

Ball Jointed Dolls (BJD) have moveable neck, elbow, wrist, waist, knee, and foot joints and are interesting because they can hold poses and artists are making them quite realistic. Inside their bodies are elastic bands and some can even stand on one foot. Great for photographs. I won't post individual dolls from the show as the owners might take copyright issue, but there are some pictures above from various BJD supply websites. You could also search BJD, SD, or Dollfie on Flickr.

Soul Doll SD "Gisele"

They were amazing at the show, they measure from 70 cm (2.5') down to 17 cm (8.5") and included individual faceups, clothing, tattoos, wigs, custom eyes, etc. The sky is the limit. One of the members also made a likeness of Johnny Depp and another is working on a Cate Blanchett doll. There was an exact replica in style and costume of Mary Tudor and Ann Boleyn. People are really so talented.

S&G SD Elf "Afta"

So I'll be mulling this one over and looking around at bodies, heads, and various body parts and don't be surprised if a BJD pops up on the sidebar under those three super cute Blythe girls. Fair warning :O)

Any other BJD fans out there in blogland?

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Skull Domes, Floo Powder, & Witchy Tags

1/12 Miniature aged plastic skull domes for your Harry Potter or Halloween setting. Just two of these made and each are slightly different. Just added to the shop

1/12 scale miniature 1/2" wide pot of Floo Powder for your fireplace "Diagonally!"

Witchy Hat Tags