Valentines Sweetness Baskets~tutorial

Here’s a little quickie thing for Valentines Day fun! We like to scavenger hunt, and usually I set up a love hunt for my son. He wakes up with a clue on his pillow, and the game is on !

I have this wonderful book called Gift Boxes by Claus Zimba Dalby. It’s full of awesome templates for various types and sizes of parcels, boxes, and bows.


I chose these three sided heart shaped ones 2015-02-12 10.25.34, cut them out of various scrap book weight paper,2015-02-12 12.45.502015-02-12 13.40.04and used raffia to make hangers for them. Then added a little tissue, filled them with candy, and voila! Sweet surprises:) 2015-02-12 12.29.04You can fill them with anything you like.

At Years End

End of 2014 was a whirl for me, and for the shop. You never know where connections in life are going to pop up, but the best ones really do come from doing what you love. I’m late to the party here with my year end post, but I do have  a few things I want to note, and some gratitude to send out into the universe. Some of the best bits are about the shop of course. I often chuckle at myself and don’t take it seriously. Can I possibly, truly, have a job that is this much fun? I guess I do!outgathering Fall trends all over the internet showed a huge surge in people supporting handmade, unique items, which included an amazing flurry for me. My busy season started so much earlier this year.  Hashtags and social media became another language for me to learn. I am super grateful to people who speak those languages, and that they are so willing to brainshare because I can not manipulate seo with a paintbrush, yeah?

I got some of the most incredible notes from return customers and people believing and wanting more magic in their lives. I want to stop here and remind myself that the path my shop and my work has taken really brings people together, and it’s a nurturing phenomenon. I feel that way when I work and create, and it’s really soul stirring to have it returned in kind by someone who writes a review or a letter to me about what a lift or a joy this simple thing has brought to them. I always feel like I’m watching the world from several different planes of woo, so it really makes me happy to hear someone else has received what I’m sending. It’s why I keep making magic wands. Someone who interviewed me about what I’m doing out here in the woods jokingly said I wouldn’t get rich doing it, but that’s not the point is it? They might be surprised, and rich is a subjective term.

Highlights for the shop included: a super fun exchange of a few wands used  in a GTq88knwM-rF2-ORdQaRnhQi7ZU2RbIbIFYQDWT9imAthemed party photo shoot designed by Patty of Sweet Treat Stands that were featured in Celebrate and Party Style magazines, and a local newspaper reporter finding my business card in my favorite coffee shop in Kelso, and calling me. She came out to the studio for an interview back in Novemberand it came out in the local paper on December 8th. That night I got a call from KGW news in Portland and they came out the next day to my studio! I was gobsmacked, and on the news that evening. The sound effects from my phone<chaCHING!> took off instantaneously, along with the stats in the shop. My cheeks hurt for days from grinning, not only because of the press, but because my friends were so excited for me too. CarlysHPWedding



I also heard from a customer who had a Harry Potter wedding that turned out really lovely. I don’t often get photos back from customers, although I always ask. This time, I got fantastic pictures!

It was a full circle affair. The whole wand shop business started with a birthday party full of friends, you know? My son’s 6th birthday bash was a Harry Potter extravaganza! So grateful to everyone who was at that party<3 HPParty1and to Katie and Tanya pointing out the seed, to Kathy for being my first official wand customer.

Gratitude to my gaming buddy and graphics pro,  Nick, the creator and webmeister behind ,  who has taught me so much about working online, and for all his savvy and assist in putting my branding together.

He’s helped me really blendbusinesscard_template_us several things I love doing into awesome business cards and other presence online facets. I wander around in the forest taking hundreds of pictures some days. Nick helps me blend my forest inspiration, photos, and wands into cards I really love. Wands on the brain :)

Thanks to Shana for magically rolling out my packaging September2014wands 556 neat and quick by the, what?, thousands by now? Thanks to my awesome daughter for that idea:) Thanks to Deb, Teresa, Chloe, Mikaela, and anyone else I missed for working with me through studio flurries, and thank you hugely to all my friends who support and encourage me to do that thing, that I love to do.


I’ll be shifting a lot of my shop activity here, and am working now on adding my own store to the site, with Nick’s help. It would be fabulous if you’d comment and let me know if there’s something in particular you’d love to see here. Love from~






Creek Days, maybe

It’s still a wondering what we’ll do today day here.  I love that we, meaning little son and myself, are free to schedule our days, or not. Then I look back on the day and am usually wow’d by all the things our day filled with. It’s truly my favorite way to live. Muna, our lab, and Tux the old catman, are always included in there of course. July2014 033Tux doesn’t enjoy the creek, so doesn’t go of course, but Muna and himself can not get enough of it.  They both learned to swim, right here. Aidan would hold onto the stones like a crawdad until eventually he let go and paddled around with the rest of the wildlife. Muna, being born with webbed feet, just swam. Daily trips, even if only for an hour, are a must.

Gorgeous swimming hole, August14 032we love it. You should come with us one day soon. I’m pretty sure there is no substitute for what we learn here,  about being, and living out in the world. We meet new people here, sometimes sortof neighbors, we even learn tidbits about our family history here, since the side of the creek I’m standing on in these photos belongs to elder family members, too.

We do a lot of this……August14 047But only when Muna isn’t looking because she likes to take the rocks and do her own work with them.

Muna made her first buddy here, and he taught her to play fetch, and get the lay of the land. His name is Slider, great old dog, laid back, friendly, invites EVERYone to play. We love him. He’s such a great friend to all of us.

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That’s what life’s about, right? Friends. and creeks, sticks and stones, and sparkling water. We like it just like that. Why isn’t Tux in here? He’s holed up in the shade somewhere, and that’s how he likes it. All good.




The Day I Photographed a Friendship

Y’all know I’m not a professional photographer, right? I’m one of those renaissance women, a dabbler, although I do absolutely delight in dabbling, so I might be a Pro at that.  Regardless, I volunteered to be ‘The Photographer’ for a wedding today. July2014 064I wore polka dots which match my brain perfectly, and managed to accidentally get this cool shot of my son dancing in my sunglasses. Love it.

Beautiful ceremony, flowers everywhere, the day could not have been sunnier, proud hard working parents steeped in joy for sure, but what I saw, through my lens, my filter, was best friends.

That I know who you are,I’ve got your back, I see you, I cherish all the goofy beautiful sweetness, and flaw, you’re my best friend. With great love comes great responsibility my friends. BBQ was great too <3

I won’t share wedding photos here, because those belong to someone else to gush and laugh and coo over first. They are chocked full of joy, laughter, and  this down to earth girl in satin and cowgirl boots, whose love and wit keep us loving her.  Today was one of those Best Days.

My Outlandish Etsyversary

August 9th is going to be a verra special day this year! Not only is it going to be my 4 year Etsyversary thank you very much, but the new series Outlander will finnaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaallyy air on Starz.  I’m a pretty big fan of Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander book series, Lord John series too. All the #Caitriots and #Heughligans will be out of pocket for a while I’m sure <g>So here is where a lot of the magic is, for you~

From now until August 9th, the code ‘Outlander’ , entered on your Etsy order checkout form, will get you 25% off your total purchase in my shop. Pretty sure that particular weekend things are gonna be slow<g>July2014 133 July2014 035I”ll be watching too, so get’em while they’re hot. The wands I mean<g>

I’ll have my feet propped up, cherry bounce in hand, blissfully alone, savorin the scenery. And the music! Bear McCreary! So much magic and inspiration and camaraderie has come of these amazing books, and now many more layers of riches to see August 9th. Can.not.wait.

Oh wait, my shop? Yes, the wands!I make my own brand of magic y’all :)

When you take advantage of this amazing discount, be sure to enter ‘Outlander’ in the coupon code section at checkout on your Etsy order :)

plant love & healin

My career background, as in workin for someone else, and studying intensely and intently, joyously, is horticultural.July2014 138Besides that, I’ve always grown things, and have a nack for relationships with flora.This mornin I found myself frantically searching the apothecary which is mostly full of teas, for mullein.Nearly every drawer in this precious altar of health is full of ‘something’, but no mullein. Although  mullein is good in a tea too, hm? Lackaday.

But I punted and found ingredients for ear oil.July2014 139Himself has an earache this mornin.Gratitude to all the Mamas who have helped me learn and love the plant world, especially Zola and Jeanette <3 I’ve got stories to tell about Zola and Jeanette, another time.

The Woodland Wandolier

Sometimes people ask me why I’m not sculpting or building glass any more. So this is  the story of how I came to be a wandolier here in the pnw woods where I live, play, and work. For years I’ve talked about my artistic loves and passions as mudd centered, and I DO love mudd, so much.  I’ll share more about my mudd thing later on. But you know how your interests shift and flow….

My little guy decided , a few years ago, that he wanted to have a Harry Potter birthday party likeyado when you are 6, right? So I transformed the house into Hogwarts and Diagon Alley, and of course made magic wands for party favors. I had fabulous Pinterest inspiration.  If you click that pinterest button on the rh side of the page it’ll take you right to my boards, automagically<g> I put my own spin on the wands, and they were a huge hit. My friends ,Tanya and Katie, said put those in the shop! So I tucked a few in, and away we went. Now the wands are the thing, and my shop is thriving. Thank you if you’re reading this and aiming a wand of my make at a local villain:)

Supply your inner wizard

Supply your inner wizard

So in April of 2012 I became a Wandolier. I couldn’t get them made fast enough, they took off so well. I was pleasantly stunned, lol. Now my shop has grown from making party favor variations, to pagan tools, therapy focus, business pranks&pointers , handfasting staffs, photography props, cosplay and larping pieces, and most recently, custom wizard or walking staffs made to your funkadelic specifications. I always, always find a way to say yes we can make that, whatever that happens to be. Building and creating wands entwines several core loves of mine, including my lifelong  good gods what are you going to do with THAT habit of crow gathering shiny bits. My studio is quite the colorful nest. My names are  Catherine, Cait, Cat, mostly Mom<g> so far.