Friday, May 30, 2008

Brewing the Perfect Cup of Tea

  1. Heat water in kettle and pour in pot.

  2. Fill fresh water in kettle, preferably spring water

  3. Heat water

    a. Bring water to boil for black tea, rooibos, oolong, pu ehr, herbal and fruit teas (200 degrees F/95 degrees C)

    b. Bring to a simmer- when the steam is rising and wafting off on an angle, water is ready for green and white teas (180-190 degrees F/90 degrees C)

    Remember that a tea leaf is like a vegetable- don’t over cook your tea leaf it will taste bitter and ruin your tea experience

  1. Pour warming water out of teapot (reserve for watering plants after it cools completely)

  2. Measure tea into the heated teapot- 1 tsp to every cup of water is a good rule, however, you may prefer a stronger tea. For iced tea, use 2 teaspoons for every cup

  3. Pour water over the top of leaves and steep according to type of tea. Loose tea provides the best flavor because the leave have an opportunity to unfurl and release its nuances. Follow the following steeping or infusing directions

a. Black and Pu erh teas for 3 to 5 minutes

b. White and Green teas for 1 to 3 minutes

c. Oolong teas for 1 to 3 minutes

d. Tisanes (herbal) and display teas (peonies) for 5-10 minutes
Place a strainer or filter over your cup to capture the leaves

From the wonderful people at
Petali Teas
Photo by Jennifer L Porter

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Take the Handmade Pledge

Take the Handmade Pledge

Best Tea Ever!

Petali Teas
I met Joy, the president of Petali Teas, on a couple of years ago. She is a wonderful tea artesian who has rocked my world many times with her tea blends. She carries every tea you can imagine, check out her online shop. One of my favorites is Blueberry Muffin Green Tea and yet it really tastes like blueberry muffins!

This is what Petali Tea say about themselves-
Mootz Run, Ltd. is an artisan company specializing in tea and tea related products. We have many divisions to serve you: Petali Teas Online Shop and wholesale division, Tea Design Tea Tasting Party Division and Mootz Run Tea Shop in Alexandria, OH.

We work hard to find the best botanicals for our Petali Teas and search the globe for interesting tea accessories and lifestyle products for your home, body and spirit.

Working with small companies and artisans is important to us. We believe that following your heart and your dreams is important for health and happiness. Artist and small business owners take risks and make many sacrifices to make a difference and live the life they were meant to.

Mootz Run, Ltd. embraces impeccable business ethics and does not take its customers or vendors for granted. We exist because we have customers and vendors and will always have their best interest in mind.

Contact us at 740-924-3269
or email

photo by jennifer porter

CraftSanity Podcasts

I've been listening to this craft podcast lately. It's great for people who are trying to start a crafting lifestyle and those how are already masters at it. Free to download from iTunes. Here some info from their stie.

Introducing CraftSanity

If it weren’t for art where would you be right now? If you didn’t know how to knit, crochet, weave, spin, paint, sew, write, sing, dance, or express yourself creatively some other way, what would you do? How would you blow off steam and cope with the stresses of life? I don’t know about you, but I shudder at the thought of a world without soft yarn, lovely fabric, shiny black tap shoes and rock music. This site is dedicated to all you creative spirits out there. This is where I’m going to put some of my reporting skills to craftabulous use and host an online discussion about art, craft and all things creative.

Who Is This Crafty Lady?
My name is
Jennifer Ackerman-Haywood and I’m a 31-year-old, married, working mother of two sweet girls. I was born in Detroit (Rock City) and now live in West Michigan with my husband, Jeff, and our two daughters, ages 2 and 3. I’m a writer who makes a living working as a newspaper reporter and hopes to realize my childhood dream to write a book. I like to run, swim, bike, quilt, knit, weave, sew and do just about any craft under the sun. I’m almost always armed with a portable craft project just in case I get 30 seconds of down time or I just plain need a moment of Zen.

When I tape CraftSanity interviews, I imagine that I’m sitting in a booth at a diner with my guest and we’re just chatting away and our conversation is so fascinating that other people seated nearby are leaning in. In my head, I have five listeners, but the stat counter tells me there are plenty more of you out there — a notion I still can’t quite believe. I’m not a polished broadcaster, I’m just a curious woman with a microphone who loves to help people share their stories — especially when they involve art and craft.

CraftSanity History
This podcast was conceived in late 2005 when I was on my second maternity leave from my newspaper gig. My husband had become a big fan of tech podcasts and suggested that I do one about crafts. I told him he was nuts, then I started planning my first show.

And though I cringe at how awkward I was during the earliest CraftSanity episodes, the experience of fumbling my way through with the support of my husband to create this show from scratch has been one of the most fulfilling experiences of my life. It’s been a wonderful joy to get to chat with all the creative people who have shared their stories with me and to get amazingly sweet feedback from the folks at home makes it all seem like some kind of crazy, happy dream. Producing this show has been a labor of love and really has enriched my life in ways I never imagined. I really feel blessed to get to have this experience. Thank you, dear listeners, for making that possible.

CraftSanity With Me
I want to continue to interview artists and crafters from around the globe, review the latest books and products and share fun project ideas you can try out in your home studios or with a group of artist friends and kids. So, if there’s someone in the creative world you’d like to her from, let me know. Write me at

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

This is my favorite ring of all time which was made by the very talented artist Amanda K Lockrow.

Inspired by mother nature's miracles of new life and new beginnings. Chalcedony reminds me of robins eggs which bring new life into the world. And the wires that go up and down are inspired by flowers and the pollination process.

This ring is constructed of sterling silver, it is stamped 925 on the inside of the ring shank. I have also signed the back of the ring to complete this tiny piece of wearable art.

The center is a blue chalcedony cabochon. The ring has a patina of liver of sulfur and then polished back to show the detail.

The band is stamped A New Beginning. The wires move up and down freely but are very comfortable to wear.

Amanda's Bio:
I am a metalsmith and artist. I make everything by hand and love my work. I hope that you will find something to treasure on my site.
I work with a variety of materials and am constantly exploring new materials.

I graduated from Syracuse University with a BFA in metalsmithing. Please visit my blog at for more information on where you can buy my jewelry in stores.

All new work is fabricated using recycled silver. I really hope I can reduce my footprint on the earth. My boxes and envelopes are also all made of recycled material.

I love the mountains and the ocean and in California I get both and that is why I moved across the country.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Working Hard at the Craft Table

Winifred doing what she does best.

Getting on the Handmade Train

this sticker is available at my Etsy store

Black and Tan Earrings

New Item - Black and Tan Earrings Sterling silver and glass beads

What Would Bucky Do?

Cardboard Safari

Cardboard Safari offers premium-quality cardboard animal figures in a range of sizes. These whimsical puzzles are great home or office decorations - for adults and kids alike.

Each puzzle is laser-cut for precision fit and easily assembles using slotted construction. All figures are packaged flat for shipping and include detailed instructions.

The puzzles look great in their native brown paper or they can be easily decorated with paint, glitter, wrapping paper or other craft materials. See the product gallery for photos of completed figures.

Cardboard is a 100% recycled, non-toxic, environmentally friendly product. Our raw cardboard is made locally, further reducing the impact on the planet.

All of Cardboard Safari's animal figures are designed and manufactured in the United States, free from unsafe foreign toxins and waste products.

Handbook to Handmade vol. V
With 175 etsy artists featured in 5 volumes, the handbook to handmade is a small cut of very talented artists from around the world.

"the handbook to handmade" is a monthly volume of 35 ETSY artists and their shops...this is a promotional tool that is used to help promote artists and Etsy. The first volume was a success, with a great mix of artists from 35 different cities from around the world.

This book is organized by Timothy Adams, the hardest working man on, who is a metalsmith. Timothy lives in Grand Rapids, Michigan with his wife and Jack Russell...Sadie.

Etsy People I Love

Snow Drop Sense

Beautiful Gocco printed images. I'm now a collector (I have two)!

This is what Snow Drop Sense wrote about the item:
Little peacock, reminds me of a book I loved as a kid featuring an airplane. It had black line drawings filled in with orange. That's it, no other colours, and this peacock is kind of like that. Anyway...
My handdrawn image printed with a gocco... Printed on acid-free, archival bristol, size approximately 3 1/4 inches by 5 1/2 inches, or 8.5 cm by 14 cm... There are 50 in this edition, signed and numbered.

Etsy People I Love

Terbearco Custom Ruberstamps

If you are looking for a custom made rubber stamp, this is the right place, they make the best custom stamps on etsy not to mention super nice people. They can make you the perfect stamp, just what you are looking for, don't be afraid to ask if it can be done, pretty much if you can think it up, they can probably do it! Like the images in some of their stamps, pretty much any of them can become custom stamps too! Just ask! Custom stamp turn around time is approx 2-2.5 weeks from once your proof is approved (but most are sent out much sooner!) The prices are affordable, they don't overcharge for their stamps, they have the best prices you are going to find for custom made stamps on Etsy. Don't think great prices means lower quality, our stamps are TOP QUALITY. Their stamps are ECO FRIENDLY too!

I just bought the postcard collection and looking forward to putting it to use!

Etsy People I Love

Flutter By Butterfly
This handmade Asian Washi Paper Cherry Blossom Explosion Box is a scrapbook in a box. Simply lift the lid off this approximately 4" x 4" x 4" box and a cherry blossom is revealed. Four washi paper pockets/straps hold 8 removable tags for your cropped photos or words. The entire box has been decorated with an Asian theme. Beautiful coordinating Japanese washi papers feature cherry blossoms accentuated by punches and ribbon.
This album is created with acid free cardstock and UHU glue to ensure its durability.

I bought one of these beautiful boxes for my mother for her birthday and she loved it!

All the Things Your Mama Warned You About

New Work
glass beads, oxidized sterling silver, retro sexiness.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Etsy People I Love

Wonderful people and lovely things.

Their Manifesto:
Treatzone exists to showcase a small sampling of the many gems in life, some of which are obvious, some of which you may have overlooked, and the best of which we still have yet to find. Always knowing that the joy of life's discoveries are in direct relation to the complexity of the search.

Presenting My Partner in Crime......

Here is Winifred

First Time for Everything

I'm a lover not a writer.
I make things for my Etsy shop and spend a great deal of my time on
Thank you for joining me and I hope you like the stuff we ( Winifred & I) make and find by other artists.

take care
Jennifer and Winifred