A Lion Indeed

With snow in the forecast for this gray, early-March day, I thought it fitting to acknowledge the month's cultural characterization as coming "in like a lion" with a few winter-white selections from the makers of Etsy NY (and contextualizing/attributional comments by me).

Steampunk Mustachioed iPhone Case by dslookkin

Reminiscent of delicate snowflakes dreamily drifting downward (onto the cold, hard earth)....

Salt and Pepper Shakers by Romi Ceramics

Simple elegance, and salt somewhat resembles snow.

Set of 4 8x8 Black and White Modern Art Photography Prints by ZahnerPhoto

Stark, white Winter, and snowflake-like geometry.

Rose in the Snow Photo by greenelent

This pretty much sums it up: Winter, with Spring just underneath -- and Taxis

Let's enjoy this little dusting in the hope knowledge that it is Winter's last hurrah!

Linda / Purty Bird

Beat Those Winter Doldrums!

Oh, winter. Business is SLOW and I, for one, am having a hard time fighting the tendency for that to turn me into a big lazy slug. There are so many things to enhance my business that I never have time to do during the rest of the year that I could be using this time to do but I just don't feel like it. This may be because it won't be clear whether doing them is having the desired effect without the regular contact with customers that heavier selling activity brings. Maybe. But that's no excuse. No! Spring will be here before we know it (it really will; I should know this by now)
and I'll be so very annoyed with myself if I haven't knocked at least a few things off my list.


So, going forward, here's what I am going to get off my butt and do. Maybe you have a similar list. If so, get going! Sluggishness be damned!

1. Turn my Gmail list into a real mailing list with Mail Chimp (or some other such email marketing application/provider). I started this project a while ago but got hung up on formatting the addresses. What more satisfying way to spend a quiet winter's eve than curling up on the couch with the laptop and slaying that dragon?

2. Replenish stock, specifically, of paper-mache birds. I never thought I'd see the day but all the members of my longstanding flock have flown away. I actually also started this project a few weeks ago and was pleased to find several bird bodies already well under way. Time to take them out of the oven (where I put them to dry) and get them chirping. 


3. Create new designs. In particular, I've had lots of requests for giraffe and squirrel magnets/pendants. I did take a crack at a giraffe not too long ago. It was just a sketch, but still, it was a start. The squirrel still daunts me, but success begets success (right?) so, if I get that giraffe done the squirrel is sure to follow (I'm not completely convinced of this but I think it's a good, positive idea to carry into the task).


Making this list has been therapeutic. I now have a clear, manageable set of things that I'm confident I can accomplish (my doubts about the squirrel design notwithstanding), and I've discovered that I've already started all of them. I don't have to motivate myself to start anything new, but rather just to pick up where I left off. Yay. 

So, beat your winter slug with a list! 

Until next time -


Linda 


Welcome the New Year Warmly

Most of the East Coast is blanketed in snow, and though the weather is supposed to get slightly warmer later this week, New Year's Eve is still going to be pretty cold. So why not stay pretty warm with The {NewNew}?


Who doesn't love a hood?
BetterThanJam has a couple of different color
combos for sale in her shop.



This winter white scarf is perfect for fireworks.
From UndergroundCrafter.


If you're headed to a fancy party, but want to stay
toasty, this scarf from EllisDesign
just might do the trick.


Baby's first New Year? Make sure
the little one stays warm with this
hat and vest set from BurryBabies.


Perfect for a rockin' good
New Year's Eve! From JuliaEmily.


As luck would have it, these are on
"blizzard sale" at Knitting Guru

Want more options? Shop local with The {NewNew} -- just search "newnewteam" and "scarf," "hat," or "gloves" -- and you'll have everything you need to ring in the New Year in style and comfort.




Sue De
persuede.etsy.com
made for you


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In San Francisco, Winter Blues Become Winter Greens

The dreaded New York winter, bitter, cold, and dark, can sometimes make us want to sing the blues. One winter relief for all New Yorkers, is to plan a getaway to San Francisco. While San Francisco is famous for its windy summers, it offers mild and virtually wind-chill free winters. As an added bonus, the city remains green throughout the winter, and in more ways than one. It offers not only better winter weather, but great handmade and local shopping and the opportunity to live a more sustainable, greener life. All good things must come to an end, but before I leave San Francisco, I will share a few of its best green winter treasures.

1. Composting is the law


In addition to its citywide composting program, businesses in San Francisco do their part to reduce waste. Supermarkets and delis only give out paper or plastic bags upon request, coffee shops serve coffee to-go in compostable cups and forgo the plastic lids and ice cream shops use real spoons to give out samples and serve their ice cream in compostable cups coupled with compostable spoons.

2. Plants blossom in the winter


Despite the winter season, plants, trees, and flowers continue to blossom in San Francisco. And if that's not enough, palm trees are scattered throughout major boulevards and public spaces.

3. World-class thrift store shopping


Walking down Valencia Street, a commercial corridor in San Francisco's Mission district, one will come across at least one great thrift store every four blocks. These thrift stores are bustling shopping destinations. They are emblems of the strong "recycle and reuse" culture among San Franciscans.

4. Great-tasting local produce


If you have ever wanted to change your diet and eat vegan, San Francisco is the city for this change. Most restaurants and groceries offer a wide variety of great-tasting, locally farmed produce year-round.

5. Bicycling is safe and convenient


San Francisco offers some of the best urban riding around. Drivers and bicyclists respect each others rights-of-way, helping to make bicycling a viable and safe mode of transportation for all.

6. Local designer shops and co-ops are a main fixture on main streets


Local shops in San Francisco are plentiful and thriving. They have helped to revive many great neighborhood streets throughout the city. One of my favorites that I encountered was Studio 3579, which features the work of local designers Priya Sarawati, Joy Opfer, and Michael Stone.

7. Luscious parks and true public spaces


San Francisco's public spaces are top notch. They are open, vast, public and integrate seamlessly into the urban landscape. Among my favorites is Mission-Dolores Park, a great place to meditate, aimlessly wander, and unwind.

Ready to plan your green winter getaway? Start by visiting craigslist.org for info on sublets, bike rentals and other local deals.


Photo credits (top to bottom): Chloe at greenzer.com, JasonMorrison.net, JB Warehouse and Curio Emporium, Jeremy Waiver, Dustin Jensen, studio3579.com, Carly Gordon


- Karla Quintero
Fernando Jewelry
luisfernando.etsy.com

Baby, It's Cold Outside :: A Baby Leg Warmer How-To!

As a mom of a ten-month old, it's very tempting to keep my daughter in her pajamas all day during the winter. Pajamas are easy. They make diaper changes a snap. They keep her warm. But what about all those cute dresses and long-sleeved onesies lying dormant in her clothing baskets? Will I be forced to tell Aunt Edna that I never got around to putting my daughter in that awesome dress she gave us at our baby shower because it was too cold (or, ahem, that I was too lazy)?

Thankfully, there is a solution to this age old problem that I'm sure is plaguing all of us at night. Baby legwarmers are the solution to style, comfort, and ease in these cold winter months. They don't have to be removed while changing diapers, and they keep chubby baby legs toasty and protected. They look really cool with a dress. You will definitely be labeled as the cool mom.


The pattern for baby legwarmers is quite easy, and you can easily use leftover yarn (you will need about 40 grams total). Just a small caution: this project requires small knitting needles and fingerling yarn, so progress might be a little slow. But rest assured, the end product is well worth the work!

Baby Legwarmers (fits babies 0 - 18 months, maybe longer!)

Materials
:
1 set of US #2 double-pointed needles
Fingerling yarn in two colors (I used Lanette Superwash in Peach and Mauve. You can make 2 sets of baby legwarmers if you alternate the colors.)

Directions:
1. Cast on 60 stitches in Mauve, making sure stitches are loose
2. Distribute the stitches evenly on three needles (20 stitches per needle) and join in a circle
3. Knit 2x2 rib for 1.5 inches
4. Switch to Peach yarn and do straight stockinette stitch until 5 inches long from cast on
6. *K5, K2tog and repeat from * to end of round
7. *K4, K2tog and repeat from * to end of round
8. Knit straight for another 2 inches
9. *K3, K2tog and repeat from * to end of round
10. Switch back to Mauve yarn
11. Knit 2x2 rib for another 1.5 inches
12. Bind off
13. Repeat for other side


Stay warm!

Karina
Windows of Agate

Hot steaming bath in the freezing cold winter!

I admit, I'm a bath addict. I love taking a bath year around, but in the winter it becomes essential. Nothing like a steaming hot bath before going to bed on a wintry night, a perfect cure for many ailments, including the common cold, muscle or joint pains, and insomnia!
Many things can be added to the bath water, bubbles are fun, and essential oils are wonderful for rejuvenating the spirit and to prevent drying of the skin. Try lavender oil if you are feeling under the weather or coming down with a cold. Epsom salt relaxes the muscles and is said to draw toxins from the body. Cleopatra was known to have a beautiful, smooth skin, and her secret was soaking her body in milk! Try adding two cups of fresh milk or buttermilk to your next bath! When I feel I really need to wind down and relax, I add a few drops of essential oils (I like Lavender and Ylang Ylang), pour some rose water into the bath, light some candles and turn off the other lights, then I pray the kids will allow me 15-20 minutes of heavenly escape....

Here are some products that can be used to enhance your home-mini-spa experience:
A spa soap bar from nordeasoaperie:

Handmade soap with frankincense & myrrh, two more wonderfully fragrant, relaxing and sensual essential oils by dirtylovesclean:


Use these candles from DewOnAPetalHome , turn off the lights and reaaaaaly relax...


Whatever you use in your bath, keep warm and enjoy!
Iris
ArtByIris
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How a California Girl Survives a New York Winter

Moving across the country from Sunny California to Snowy Upstate New York was quite an experience. I still recall my now husband teaching me to tie on a scarf that first snowy winter.

Well I’ve come a long way in the almost 8 years I’ve lived in New York. I’m sure you born and bred New Yorkers learned all of this from your mother’s milk. This is for the rest of us.


Layers

Probably the most important thing I ever learned: How to put on about 50 more layers than anyone would notice. Thin soft layers underneath all leading towards the big chunky ones on the outside.

These fingerless gloves are perfect for finding your metrocard or keys without talking off your mittens, from ShutterKate.

My natural proclivity is to wear dark melancholy colors to match the landscape and sky (especially here in NYC), but my mood suffers. I try to brighten my day with brightly colored scarves and hats.

Like this bright pink Cowl from SpattersandJayne.


Moisturizing

I hate high maintenance. I’m not awake enough in the mornings to do all that. But I never leave the house on a cold day without moisturizing, especially my face, hands, and lips.

I love that these lotion jars are the right size to fit in my purse to keep my hands nice all day, from Nordea’s Soaperie.


Staying Inside

While I spend all summer outdoors, I try to spend all winter (when I can) indoors. I invite friends over. I take naps with my cat. I read lots of books.

Reading made easy with these quirky bookmarks from Beacon Bookmarks.

I learned the hard way how dreary it gets all winter long without enough sun. I’ve finally understood why my husband has to turn all of the lights in the apartment on when he’s home. So brighten up your space with good colors, bright lights, and beautiful things.

Like this beautiful lamp from YoursTrulyxoxo.


If All Else Fails, Go On Vacation

Everyone else seems to do it too.




By a professed California Girl (even if I didn’t know it until I moved across the country)

Karen

http://karensmonsters.etsy.com
http://karensmonsters.blogspot.com