Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Toad Whispering

Living in the woods, we have a lot of toads around our house. They are all over and I have a blast watching them. It is almost mesmerizing! But each time I sit and watch them, I learn a little bit more about them.

Last night, I took my camera out with me while they were feasting on our latest dish soap ant outbreak. I say dishsoap ants because when you disturb the ants, they smell like dish soap. Very strange and their color is nothing I have seen before moving to North Carolina.

I learned that I had built a toad haven by accident. I have been working for the last year on building a native garden and it includes a lot of moss and native plants. I found this guy hiding under a patch of what I call carpet moss. The moss is so soft it feels like you are walking on carpet! But now I don't know if I can ever step on a patch of moss again without worrying I could be stepping on a toad in hiding.

And for the strange thing I learned. I keep seeing these weird things out front. I thought maybe a seed pod or something? I had no clue until I saw this one doing its 'duties' and realized I have been seeing toad turds. Not that I enjoy seeing animals do their 'duty' but I was amazed at how large of a 'duty' a small critter can have.

Come check out my entire collection of Toad Whispering photographs!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Dawn takes poison oak out of your way

We all know that Dawn takes grease out of your way. Many may know it is used to clean animals that fall victim to nasty oil spills. But did you know it can take the oils of poison oak off your skin?

Poison oak, poison ivy, and poison sumac all contain the same irritating oil called urushiol. This oil bonds to the skin and can create a horrible rash, depending on how sensitive you are to the oils. Some reactions can be so serious that a person has to see a doctor for treatments.

Robert H. Mohlenbrock. USDA SCS. 1991. Southern wetland flora:
Field office guide to plant species
. South National Technical Center, Fort Worth.
Courtesy of USDA NRCS Wetland Science Institute.

A few weeks ago I was clearing an area that was over grown with small tree saplings and the invasive English ivy. Little did I know there was a ton of poison oak vines mixed in but it was still very young and hidden amongst the English ivy. A few days later, I started breaking out, horribly. I had rashes scattered about from my ears to my ankles. And did it ever itch and burn!

I was recommended to find mullein as it is considered nature's eraser for poison oak. It worked! But only for several hours then the itching came back. I am pretty confident I have taken the leaves from all the mullein I can find, mashed them between my fingers, and rubbed every last leaf on the poison oak. When I ran out of mullein, I started itching again.

At our local pharmacy, there were all kinds of fancy, high priced, small quantity soaps that said they would remove the oils from your skin at any point after contact with poison oak. Hmmm... Dawn takes grease out of your way and is cheaper. I will take a big bottle of Dawn for $3.50 Alex!

So I came home, lathered up and waited. The itching stopped pretty quick. Now, I can not say it was all fine and dandy. The itch and burn from the poison oak was gone and the rash was reducing quite nicely and rapidly. However, I am allergic to something in the Dawn so I had a bit more itching. But it was nothing like the itch from the poison oak. Just a mild irritation.

One thing to remember, Dawn breaks up grease & oils. This includes the oils your body produces naturally to keep your skin healthy. So after a good lather and rinse, make sure you lotion up really well to replace the moisture and some of the oils that the Dawn just stripped from your skin. I promise, you will thank me for this tip.

So there you have it. Dawn takes poison oak out of your way!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

A Friend & Etsy Shop Owner

The owner of tutucrafts has become a great friend. We both live in a world dominated by testosterone. We are both married, and we both have boys. So, we sat down and took a little time for us girls and started chatting about her. She is truly wonderful & I would love to let you get to know a little about her.

Tell me just a little about yourself

I am on the back end of my 30’s sliding into 40 in a couple of years. Currently getting ready to include school back into my already busy schedule and hope to have my Masters in Psychology by the time I am 41 (late bloomer, but at least I will bloom). I have never had a hobby in my life and I have always dreamed of being an artist. I didn’t start crafting until two years ago this coming April. Well, except for work, that was a hobby. Of course, I had to find a business connection with crafting and after a few tries, I found out about Etsy. It has been a lot of fun! It allows me to craft and do what I love but marry the business side beautifully without losing my hobby. I am married to the love of my life, and I have amazing boys ages 11 and 3. We just adopted a cat named Rocky (8 months old), I still can’t figure out if he likes me or not.

Tell me about one totally awesome place you have travelled and why you picked this place. What intrigues you by it? What are the forces that pulled you there?

Oh, this is an easy one. Turkey! The cradle of civilization. The history, the beauty, the people are amazing! I am Turkish so of course there is the natural connection, but Turkey is so much more than that to me. Everyone that has ever visited I know has fallen in love. There are no words to describe the magic. I feel blessed that my husband is also Turkish so that really takes the magic to the next level. I would love to retire and have a stylish yet comfortable inn in Bodrum someday with my husband.

Before your Etsy shop, what did you do?

I am the Marketing Director for Plus Model Magazine. I have been in Marketing for 18 years and e-commerce for the past 8. I am a former working Plus Size Model and working with the magazine is the perfect marriage. Before my current position and Etsy, I had my own marketing and video production company, media buyer & seller, television, a heavy dose of e-commerce with a rich history and the national spokeswoman for a women’s organization. Life happened as it often does and our lives got flipped upside down. I realized I was missing out on my kids and life and working 20 hours a day for everyone else wasn’t making me happy. It is never fun to lose but as the famous quote goes, “It isn’t how far you fall, but how high you bounce”. The past year especially has been about getting outside of my box (even though I thought I lived my business life outside of the box). After losing it all I have been on this very bumpy path of self-discovery with some success and many unsuccessful attempts. I realize now that I have the opportunity to do what I love and the brand label in the back of my jeans means little to nothing to me anymore. I think this may have been more of a therapeutic answer.

How did you get started with your shop?

I created my shop in Etsy several months ago and didn’t have the time to really get involved. I turned a relative onto Etsy to encourage her to start her own business as she admired the one I did from home. In turn, it encouraged me to get active with my Etsy store… the first step is always hard because did I really think that people would like my creations enough to buy them? I have been pleasantly surprised. It really makes me feel amazing when someone features my item in a treasury or buys an item. So now I have two shops, TutuCrafts and DigitalDlite for my digital downloads.

Where would you like your shop to be in 5 years?

All my life I have had a one, five, 10 year plan. I knew exactly where my life was going and how “successful” I was going to be at it. Life happens and now I am living somewhere in “the bounce”… I want to just enjoy this experience and see where it takes me. I love the organic feel. It is like having a small cottage boutique in a Summer seaport village somewhere where people browse and on occasion buy something they like. Would I like for it to replace my income or create an income someday in the future? Of course I would, but for now Etsy is my creative outlet and It’s mine. I feel really good about that.

I hope that you have enjoyed getting to know a little more about my friend. She is a very sweet thing.

You can find her on the web:
Tutu Crafts:
Digital Dlite:

Monday, January 10, 2011

The Gnomes Hunkered Down

I went out around 1:00 this morning, shortly after the snow started to check on the gnomes. The lights were off and it appears they were tucked snugly in their beds as a blanket of snow covered their house.

This is the gnome house about an hour later. Man, it piles up fast!

My two boys and I built this gnome house last summer for the little gnomes that live in our native moss garden.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

As the snow approaches...

As I sit here with a slight chill in the air, I start thinking about the snow that is slowly coming our way. I expect it will be white when I wake in the morning and more snow piling up. Just so happens are are in the area that is to be hardest hit from this storm. E-gads!

That means today was the last trip to town for a few days, at least. Glad I stocked up. It was cold but a nice sunny drive to the grocery store, with no mention of snow in the sky. But, a quick check of the local radar and snow is knocking at the door.

So, tomorrow and Tuesday I will be out getting great snow photos! I won't be able to get very far from home as I will be limited to foot travel only. But living here, I don't need to go far from home to find beautiful photographs.

See what I found last year? Maybe I can beat these over the next 2 days!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Wednesday Friendsday: Link up your Twitter page for more friends & followers!

Creative Cabin is happy to host Wednesday Friendsday - Twitter Style!

Twitter is a great way to meet knew people by building loyal followers & contacts.

Wednesday Friendsday is a great way to meet new tweeters and gain more twitter followers for your business!

The rules are simple:

  • Follow my blog. 
  • Add the URL (link) of your Twitter account to the list below. 
  • Follow as many fellow sellers and teammates as you wish.  
  • Send them an @ message to let them know you found them here!
  • That's it! Thanks so much for stopping by and helping us help and support you!

Each week I will be hosting a Wednesday Friendsday so come back next week to link up for a round of Wednesday Friendsday Twitter Style!

As a proud leader of Team Discovery, I will be complimenting their Wednesday Friendsay. This week Team Discovery is hosting Wednesday Friendsday Blog Style! So join the fun there as well to gain more blog followers & find interesting blogs you would like to follow!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Tempt Me Tuesday Link Party!

It's Tuesday here at Creative Cabin! I am hoping to keep this going every week and help spread the love for all of our products! If you're a seller, it's time to tempt everyone with your items. Show us what you've go

The rules are oh so simple!
  • Follow my blog
  • Link up to 3 of the items you are selling below by adding the direct URL to your item.
  • For the name, use the name of your item, not your personal name. You may include the price, too, if you like.
  • Spread the word!
  • Mark your calendars and come back next Tuesday!
  • That's it! Simple, right? And fun!
If you add a link, please leave me a comment so we know you stopped by. Help us get the word out about this party by tweeting, blogging, linking, shouting it from the rooftops. Just any number of ways we can help each other get the word out and have fun at the same time! Because when we network and support each other, we all win!