Monday, December 22, 2008

Merry Merry Days

I'd like to take this time to thank you all for stopping by my little blog now and again, and for buying Auntie B's Wax products. It's been a very wonderful year, and I hope to see you all throughout 2009 too.

This Christmas season has been an especially nice one for me, and I hope peace, good cheer, sweet goodies, and graciousness touch all of you this season.

I leave you with my favorite (currently) video. When I saw the Trans Siberian Orchestra perform this live I wept openly, like any overly sentimental holiday freak like me would do. It was truly majestic. Paenney and Fojo, if you watch this, take note of the ring (hee hee!).

Merry Christmas to you all, and I'll be back in 2009!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Enjoy The Noises

Oh the busyness of it all! This is the first year I've tried to juggle an online store, all the usual boutiques, stores, and shows I do, and a blog during the holiday season. Seems the blog suffers the most.

I've been busy finishing up some custom orders; when they're done my production year is done. Wow, that gives me a two-week vacation from candle making! I don't know if I'll be able to stay away from it for that long.

I've also been scurrying around entertaining, shopping, gift wrapping, baking, and all the usual holiday stuff. Husbie and I try to sneak in a Christmas DVD now and then. Still on the list of things to see is Polar Express, A Christmas Carol, and A Charlie Brown Christmas.

In the way of holiday cheer we've been out and about to many holiday concerts. Paenney and Fojo presented us with their school band concerts, which were fabulous as usual. Fojo made the entire 8th grade band look festive with his Santa hat, and Paenney, well, he's got to watch what he's doing while he's not playing his horn. Black Jack is not an option! (I say that as an adult auntie. I used to know kids like that in high school and I always thought they were the ones having the most fun. I was right!)

Paenney was also a participant in the St. Paul edition of Tuba Christmas. What a fabulous show. Christmas carols played by a band comprised entirely of horns from the tuba family. Tuba Christmas is presented all over the country, and I would highly recommend listening to their annual concert. It's quite breathtaking. It's also quite a lot of fun.

For me, music makes the holidays. A little Bing Crosby singing White Christmas, a little Nat King Cole singing The Christmas song, and a group of a hundred or so tubas playing Jingle Bells. You just can't beat that.

(The preceding video clips are examples of the Tuba Christmas concert played in various cities across the United States.)

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Paper Displays of Affection

Here's something new - oragami jewelry. Maybe it's just new to me. At Paper Displays of Affection you can get pendants, earrings, and ornaments, all made from paper. Neato Stuff has this ornate works of art as their shop of the day.

(Pictures provided by Paper Displays of Affection)

Saturday, December 06, 2008

The First Step To A Cheerful Season

We all know by now I'm not the best photographer on the internet. I have a hard time with digital and haven't really learned how to manipulate and edit the pictures very well. But isn't it amazing how this:

can become this:

in just a matter of hours. 'Tis the season, kids. Make it beautiful, even if you can't take very good pictures of it.

My Record Purse

A purse made out of a record? (Remember those?) You can find it at My Record Purse. It's the shop of the day at Neato Stuff.

(Picture provided by My Record Purse)

Friday, December 05, 2008


Looking for a garment for your little toddler? Mixit has some very unique clothes for your little one. The shop is featured as Neato Stuff's shop of the day.

(Picture provided by Mixit)

Thursday, December 04, 2008

AbbaDabba Bags

You're a busy mom, and also a girl-on-the-go at night. Go shopping at AbbaDabba Bags and find diaper bags, cosmetic bags, and everything in between. Cool fabrics, and lots of different designs. It's Neato Stuff's shop of the day!

(Pictures provided by AbbaDabba Bags)

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

They Call It Eustress

Holiday stress. One thing we have to get our heads around is that the word stress isn't necessarily a bad thing. There is a difference between distress and eustress*. The latter is a happy stress, like the arrival of a new baby or...the holidays. While eustress is positive, it is manifested much in the same way distress is. For me that's holding my head in my hands while rocking back and forth.

I've got many tentative dates flying around the ones in ink. I've got a big custom order on which I'm awaiting the go-ahead. I've got holiday entertaining to plan, school concerts to attend, shopping to do, gifts to wrap. I've got a show this week, a store to stock, a boutique to clear out. This weekend I have a nine-foot tree to put up and decorate, as well as get the entire house decorated for Christmas.

Of all those things, not one of them is bad, or makes me feel bad, but I tend to be a little tight in the shoulders. So I announce my feelings as eustress. If I seem a little agitated or like I'm in the midst of a brain schism, just know I'm trying to get it all organized in my tiny head, something I shouldn't really be doing while you're talking to me, but it's going to happen. Things are good. Things are hectic. But you know, I love this time of year. And you know what else? Everything always works itself out.

*I looked up the word "eustress" in the dictionary and it wasn't there. It's a word I learned in a mandatory training session through my employer, the great State of Minnesota. Distress and eustress is similar to the contrasting dysphoria and euphoria. So, if it's a make-up word, I apologize. It's a wonder anything presented in one of those mandatory training sessions stuck with me after all this time anyway.

Bon a Tirer Fine Art Editions

John Holechek has an artful eye and a wonderful mastery of digital photography. His shop Bon a Tirer Fine Art Editions is a feast for the eyes as well as the emotions. I love the softness of these pieces of art, as well as the colors. While I wouldn't really call his work "neato," his is today's Neato Stuff shop of the day. Wouldn't a piece from Bon a Tirer look lovely in your home?

(Pictures provided by Bon a Tirer Fine Art Editions)

Tuesday, December 02, 2008


If you're in the market to buy your BFF some earrings for Christmas, you absolutely must shop Etsy. They've got earrings galore, and you can pretty much guarantee they'll be one-of-a-kind. Take, for example, these little numbers by Crostini. It's the featured shop today at Neato Stuff

(Picture provided by Crostini.)

Monday, December 01, 2008

Gaia Trove Chicago

Feathers everywhere! I like what Gaia Trove Chicago does with these beauties. The headbands are really fun! Gaia Trove Chicago is Neato Stuff's shop of the day and I can totally see why. Cool going!

(Pictures provided by Gaia Trove Chicago)

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Jennifer Ladd

Here's a toast to my neighbor in Wisconsin. Jennifer Ladd has adorable baby booties and really cute clutches and wallets in her shop. Great choices of fabrics, and excellent craftsmanship. Way to go Jennifer! She's Neato Stuff's shop of the day.

(Pictures provided by Jennifer Ladd)

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Lunarra Star

This is a shop I can get behind. Very unique gifts for the fairy tale lover. I love the vintage feel to it. Hurray for Lunarra Star! (It's Neato Stuff's shop of the day!)

(Pictures provided by Lunarra Star. I would totally suggest going to the shop to see more detailed versions!)

Friday, November 28, 2008

Strange Child

Today's Neato Stuff featured Etsy shop is Strange Child. Interesting creatures, imps and spiders to be exact, fill the shop with a delightful whimsey. See what you can find. Some of them even glow in the dark!

(Pictures provided by Strange Child)

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

C Things

Take a look at this cool jewelry. It's sold at C Things (short for Cindy's Things), and I think the whole shop is dazzling. Stop by her shop and look around. No wonder it's Neato Stuff's shop of the day. If you can't find anything for yourself, you'll surely find something for your friends. Christmas is coming...

(Pictures provided by C Things)

Monday, November 24, 2008

Glitter Star Designs

The Neato Stuff featured shop of the day is Glitter Star Designs. You can find all sorts of fun jewelry made out of things like buttons and...duct tape? Yep, duct tape. Check it out.

(Pictures provided by Glitter Star Designs)

We Didn't Need Mr. Bubble, We Had Mom

Cleaning the bathroom is an new and ongoing source of angst for me. I can't seem to keep a routine of it and it therefore falls into a state of such disgust I can barely stand it. As I was scrubbing the tub, yes scrubbing (you shouldn't have to work that hard, should you?), I was playing the Mr. Bubble song in my head. You'll remember it if you are as old as I am, and once it gets in your head you'll never get it out.

The song played repeatedly in my head and as I scrubbed away I recalled that I never understood what a "bathtub ring" was. Way to go Mom! I never saw a bathtub ring in my childhood home. And we didn't even use Mr. Bubble!

Mr. Bubble was way too fancy for the likes of us, but the commercials were the best. Here's another one that stuck with me, and many of my generation, throughout the years. Who doesn't refer to Madame, how do you doooo? at least once in a while. Oh, and just so you aren't too grossed out, my bathroom is sparkling clean...for now.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Happy Sounds

The wonders of the internet. I would have never discovered this treasure without it. Here's a group of musicians who are so full of talent and whimsey I just needed to spread the word. I'm even going to put the CD on my Christmas wish list. Have you ever heard anything that sounded so...happy? I love these guys!

Craft Pudding

There is nothing more fulfilling than simplicity, and today's featured shop fills me to the brim. Craft Pudding makes hand-carved rubber stamps and also can provide you with stickers or tags with her simple, yet adorable designs.

(Pictures provided by Craft Pudding)

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Greencard Designs

Clever, contempory, cheeky, and colorful greetings from Greencard Designs. She's got locker notes, blank note cards, invitations, announcements and much more. These are handmade and today's featured shop, here and at Neato Stuff. What fun!

(Pictures provided by Greencard Designs)

Friday, November 21, 2008

Moody Girl Aromatherapy

The Moody Girl has it all, and it will put us all in a great mood! What fun bath products, from Moody Mud to Bath Taffy and Bath Icing. And such wonderful aromas! Take some of these into the bathroom with you and you'll never want to come out, except to show off your glowing skin and wonderful mood! Moody Girl Aromatherapy is Neato Stuff's featured shop today, and boy oh boy, I'm tempted to go and gather up some goodies. Come on, I'll race ya!

Good Vibrations-Orange Ginger Aromatherapy Dough

Solid Bubble Bath-Lavender Mint

(Pictures provided by Moody Girl Aromatherapy)

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Breathing Deeply

I’ve been spending so much time promoting other wonderful Etsy shops I haven’t taken time to sit back and write about myself. I know I presume to think my little corner of the universe is of any importance, or even interest, but that’s the business of blogging after all.

Auntie B’s Wax is in the midst of the holiday season now, even though it isn’t even Thanksgiving yet. The Chickadee Boutique carries some of my wonderful candles and drink charms now through the first weekend in December.

The Farmer’s Daughter will be restocked regularly with holiday magnets and pins, as well as deliciously scented candles made of paraffin, palm wax, and beeswax. There are also a handful of fancy match holders that can double as votive cups. Lots and lots of stuff. I can’t even think of it all! You’d do better to go to these cheery venues to check it out yourself, or come and see me at the Century College craft show on December 4. I’ll have a bit of everything there too.

I have to confess my preoccupation with production has made me a bit chaotic and twirly. This evening is the first I’ve had in a few weeks where I haven’t had to push myself to complete one thing or another. I feel like I ought to be doing something instead of sitting in my fluffy chair with a cozy lap shawl covering my legs and feet, a collection of candles burning on the hearth, and leisurely writing the story of my life. It’s just so…relaxing. Isn’t wrong to be in the midst of the holiday selling season and be so…relaxed? Well, wrong or not, I’m going to revel in it for now. I’ll return to chaotic and twirly tomorrow.

Note to self: Tomorrow when you're back to chaotic and twirly, try to update the shop!!

Note to readers: Stay tuned for online shop updates.

Little Pink Plum

I just love these little trinkets! Pocket mirrors, with the cutest designs. Today's featured shop is Little Pink Plum. What a great place to pick up some holiday stocking stuffers. You can find Little Pink Plum featured on Neato Stuff today too. Take a peek...

(Pictures provided by Little Pink Plum)

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


What a weird name, huh? The owner of Shupg says you can send her a convo through Etsy to find out what it means. Shupg carries cute and different jewelry, all handmade in Singapore. It's Neato Stuff's featured shop today!

(Pictures provided by Shupg)

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Renewed Resources

What's better than recycling? Today's Neato Stuff featured shop is Renewed Resources, which specializes is repurposed objects and recycled bits of nature.

Cool supplies for your craftland at home. Check them out today!

(Pictures provided by Renewed Resources)

Monday, November 17, 2008

Zeba Collection

Listen up boys. If you want to give your girlfriend or wife some really unique jewelry this holiday season, look no further than the Zeba Collection. And girlies, you've got moms and sisters and BFFs that need some cool jewelry too. Check it out:

I love this stuff!

(Picture provided by the Zeba Collection)

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Unique Garden

NeatoStuff and I are proud to present Unique Garden. When I took a look at this shop it made me want to buy every product she offers! Not only do the products sound so wonderful for your skin and entire body, they're also great environmentally. All of her ingredients are entirely natural, and she even grows the herbs and flowers used in the recipes! What a woman. What a store. What a wonderful collection of body care products!

This is Cleo's Bath Blend, a tribute to Cleopatra who used to bathe in milk and perfume her body in lavender. Sprinkle some in your bath for the same luxury.

Here is a face and body scrub that claims to be the most luxurious ever tried by the maker herself. Rejuvenating, soothing, moisturizing, and restorative. Who doesn't need this stuff?
(Pictures provided by Unique Garden)

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Threaded Goodness

The keeper of Threaded Goodness keeps crochet in her list of passions. Check out her shop and find out why it's been featured today on NeatoStuff.

(Pictures provided by Threaded Goodness)

Friday, November 14, 2008

It Is Later Than You Think

I try to be upbeat and positive, especially on this little blog. As a person who's heading up a small business, I like to present a bright and cheery disposition. I use the Crabby Quilter as a reminder of how ugly and non-lucrative being a downer can be. The Crabby Quilter is a person who has wonderful quilted items such as wall art, pot holders, oven mits, appliance covers, and yes, quilts. She does beautiful work. When I wanted to chat with her for a minute and give her praise for her efforts, she snapped at me, saying she doesn't get enough money for the things she sells because the time it takes to make these things isn't even taken into consideration. Crabby. And too bad for both of us, her grouchy mood made me want to never buy anything from her as long as I live.

The point I'm trying to make here is that I don't want to turn people off with complaints. Except, well, I'm human and this blog is to give you a little insight into my life, right? Maybe not, but it's my blog and I'm feeling especially dangerous today.

I've spread myself too thin and feel just horribly about it.

There. I said it.

There are people who disagree with me and say I'm doing just fine. I've got wares at several stores and boutiques, I'm doing shows, and I'm filling custom orders, and I have an online shop. But I feel like I should have more at the consignment store, be quicker about filling those custom orders, and update my shop more often. None of that takes into consideration my blogging time, of which I feel I have very little. I want to take some photos of my candles. I want to fill the consignment store to the rafters. I want to update my shop every single day. I want to have a turn-around time of sixty seconds with custom orders. I want to be the single most fabulous retailer this holiday season!

My complaints have nothing to do with customers or about how much I get paid for my work. I love my customers and I'm ever grateful that people think my wares are worth the price tag I attach to them. My complaint is the same one many people have, from stay-at-home moms to corporate executives, from students to seniors. There just isn't enough time in a day.

Since when did I have so many aspirations and so little time?

Mary Zoom

Mary Zoom takes me back to the days when women kept house and kids got messy. I just love the retro feel to her items, and yet it's all so fresh. Mary Zoom is today's featured shop on NeatoStuff, and I can see why. What isn't neat-o about glamorous rubber gloves and fashionable smocks for kids? Great shop, Mary!

Remember when you wore your dad's old shirts, backwards, when you worked with finger paints or Play Doh? Mary's got it going with her repurposed kids smock. Mine were never this cool!

Yes, I do believe cleaning the toilet might be a tad bit more enjoyable if I wore these fashionable accessories!

(Pictures provided by Mary Zoom)

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Purple Daisy Jewelry

Vintage jewelry is where it's at. I just love vintage costume jewelry and Purple Daily Jewelry is the place to get it. There are so many fun things in this shop, and it is featured today in NeatoStuff. Dazzle everyone with retro rings and peachy pins. She's got a lot of everything from earrings to necklaces to bracelets. What a great shop!

(Pictures provided by Purple Daisy Jewelry)
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