Thursday, December 31, 2009

Another New Treasury!

I've been mildly obsessed with the Etsy treasury lately. Thanks to Craftopolis Treasury Hunt, I can check and see when the treasuries will be opening up, and believe me, that makes it a lot easier than counting lists and guessing when the will expire!

It's been brutally cold in northern New Jersey lately, and from what I hear on the news, across most of the country! My fellow EtsyNJ folks have some great items to help you keep warm until springtime. Hence, this treasury!

Baby It's COLD Outside ends Friday January 1, 9 AM

Also, my treasury wests from the other day should still be active, if you haven't seen them yet, click here.

Last but not least, don't forget about my Ring in the New Year SALE! Great deals all through the shop, check out this blog post for the gory details!

Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

New Year's Fun

Well, 2009 is almost at its end and 2010 is on the horizon. It wasn't a terrible year, although, I do admit it could have been much better. It was filled with car troubles, lost jobs, slow craft shows and slow web sales, but it was also filled with fun, love and laughs from my friends and family (both online and offline).

This brings me to the EtsyBloggers blog carnival question:
Tell us about your plans for ringing in the 2010 New Year!! Staying home/going out? Getting drunk, falling about?

Ha! There shall be no drunkeness in my home this year, although we used to throw quite the party back in the day. Its been a few years now and we are in a smaller apartment, the dog doesn't appreciate overnight guests and its hard to have a rockin' party when your toddler goes to bed at 9 PM.

This year, we'll be spending New Year's eve and day quietly at home. The little man will finally have some quality time with all his new toys from Christmas and hopefully I can get some crocheting done and get some items listed in my totally empty Artfire shop and add some new items to my Etsy shop.

I am hoping for a healthy, happy, quiet and prosperous 2010 for all of my friends and family!

Please don't forget to check out my Ring in the New Year sale, it ends at midnight on January 1. See this blog post for details.

Be sure to visit Joey & Aleethea on Monday, January 4 to see all the other great entries into this blog carnival!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Fun with Treasury West!

I love making treasuries almost as much as I love finding out that I have been featured in a treasury. Here are two EtsyNJ treasuries from the West - one by yours truly and one by AJK Artistry featuring yours truly!

Black & Blue For You Treasury
Ends December 31, 2009 - Black & Blue for You by Made By Melissa

Relax and Destress Treasury
Ends December 31, 2009 - Relax... the holidays are over by AJK Artistry

Monday, December 28, 2009

Ring in the New Year with a SALE!!

I hope everyone had a fabulous Christmas! Was Santa generous? Did you get everything you asked for?

I'd like to ring in the new year with a SALE! From now until Midnight on January 1, 2010, get a FREE GIFT with every purchase from Made By Melissa. And, as an added bonus, get 10% off orders over $10 or more! And, just in case that isn't enough, FREE US SHIPPING on orders over $30 or more! Simply put Happy New Year in the notes to seller to receive your free gift and your discounts!

(10% off and free shipping given as refund via PayPal, or send a convo for a revised invoice or special listing)

Happy Shopping!

Friday, December 25, 2009

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Holiday Recipes - Cranberry Sauce

Earlier in the month, the EtsyBloggers wanted to know about our favorite holiday recipes, I missed the blog carnival, but I'd still like to share this simple recipe that is sure to impress - homemade whole berry cranberry sauce, that's right FROM SCRATCH. Those two words seem to make people go totally insane "oh my god, you made it from scratch?!?!" Yes, my dear friend, I did...

I always make cranberry sauce on Thanksgiving, then we started having ham on new year's eve, so I would make it then too. This year, we are likely having ham on Christmas eve, so I will make it then. Its really so simple, you can make it anytime you want, assuming you like cranberry sauce enough to eat the whole thing before it goes bad.

Picture from (I never went to their site, I just Googled pictures of cranberry sauce)

1 bag of fresh cranberries
1 cup of sugar
1 cup of water

Rinse cranberries.
Boil water and sugar, add cranberries, simmer until cranberries pop open, stir occasionally.
Remove from heat, allow to cool, refrigerate until serving time.

Some recipes say to toss it all in the pot and boil it together, you can substitute juice and fake sugar, but it won't gel like regular cranberry sauce will.

If you forget any of the specifics (I do, all the time, I know, how I can I forget the 3 ingredients), doesn't matter, it ALWAYS on the back of the bag of cranberries!

Enjoy the holidays!

Wordless Wednesday

Christmas Jellyfish
Originally uploaded by madebymelissa

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Least Views

I started talking about views a couple of days ago before I got distracted by all the cute Santa items from my fellow EtsyNJ and EtsyBloggers folks. I showed you my item that had the most views in my shop. Now, I'd like to call some attention to the red headed step child of Made By Melissa, that's right, the least viewed item...

I wish I could say why these earrings have only ten views, perhaps the picture isn't the greatest, but I must admit, its really hard to get a good picture of something that is clear! Anyway, these super cute glass stars are accented by charcoal grey seed beads and hung from fish hook ear wires. Adorable, classy and shiny! Please hang these from your ears!

A Shinnig Star Glass Beaded Dangle Earrings

Monday, December 21, 2009

Santa Claus is Coming to Town - EtsyBloggers Style

Woo-hoo! Christmas is just four days away! Santa and his elves are putting the finishing touches on the gifts and wrapping them up, the reindeer are getting ready to fly! The excitement is in the air. The EtsyBloggers have some awesome Santa Claus items to get you in the holiday spirit!

Retro Santa Claus Pom Pom Ornament by AForestFrolic

Candy Cane Elf Hat with Holly Berries and Bells by RagamuffinDesign

Santa Claus Goat Milk Handmade Soap by Sweet Sally Soaps

Santa Claus Is Coming To Town -- Sassy Vintage-Inspired Christmas Cards by macaroniandglue

Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Saturday, December 19, 2009

The Most Viewed

One of the stats that is public on Etsy listings is views - how many times a listing has been looked at. What does it really mean? If you see an item with a high view count that could mean that it was featured in a treasury, perhaps on the Etsy main page, maybe it was blogged about on a high traffic blog or maybe it was simply relisted over and over again and never purchased.

This tshirt bowl by far has the highest views of any item in my shop. Yes, its been renewed a few times, but, in this case, I believe these tags have something to do with it: "t shirt, cotton, yarn, eco friendly, recycled, repurposed". It is a unique, one of a kind item that I had really hoped would get snapped up right away. Instead, its still hanging around and the longer it stays with me, the more I think about keeping it for myself.

I can think of tons of things that need to be stored in an awesome bowl made from a worn down, yet very clean, t-shirt. Keys, change, cell phones, make-up remover pads, jewelry, Hot Wheels and Matchbox cars, etc, etc...

What item in your shop has the most views? Are you surprised by it?


Friday, December 18, 2009

Gift Ideas for the Little Man

I know we are cutting it close to get presents in time for the BIG day, but I can't help by browse Etsy with my little guy in mind. He may not get these in time for Christmas, but who says you need a holiday to buy a handmade gift for your little boy?

First off, this personalized guitar tote bag from Beachchik Designs. My little guy loves to travel with his cars, sometimes up to 8 of them, and he obviously, can't carry them all. We've tried getting him to use bags in the past, but with his new guitar obsession, I think this bag just might do the trick... plus, it has his name on it!!

Somewhere along the line, the inevitable happened, he discovered dinosaurs. I know, its a boy thing, all boys have to go through the dinosaur obsession. He's not quite obessed just yet, but he is showing interest. He also LOVES to color, he's my little Picasso. Hence, these Upcycled Dinosaur shaped crayons by ivylanedesigns!

Lastly, I think this I Spy Bag by bananabearboutique is adorable, perfect for my guy who I believe will always be obsessed with race cars. He may not be totally ready for it, but when he is, he'll get a big kick out of this one!

So, there you have it, a gift list for the 2.5 year old boy in your life. Guitars, cars, dinosaurs - what more does a little boy need?

Thursday, December 17, 2009

A Custom Order that Can't Be Ignored

Another custom order!! Yes, its December 17 and I am taking on a custom order. But, its different, you see, the customer is my 2.5 yr old son. Here's how it came about.

The little guy was playing with his turtle that he adopted from my stash of amigurimi animals that was supposed to go on Etsy and he looked up at me and said "frog?" I of course corrected him - "No bud, that's turtle". He goes "I know, turtle need a frog." The turtle needs a frog? Why? I asked... he said, plain as day, "turtle needs frog to play with. You make frog?" Well, how can I say no to that?!?!

So, off to Ravelry I went to search for a pattern for a frog. I think I have decided on this one by Erika Hughes

I had already planned on making him this snazzy stripes snake from Mr. Funky's Crochet Wonderful book, since he loves the small snake I made him so very much. I haven't decided on the color pattern yet, the book shows him in two shades of blue, while the photo on Ravelry shows him in yellow, red, white, blue and orange. I'll have to sort through my stash and see what looks good.

I make no promises of these being done in time for Christmas, but being that he is already getting sooooooo many toys from sooooo many different people, I am sure he won't mind if they are Happy New Year presents instead!

Happy Hooking!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Let's Talk Colors

The EtsyBloggers have asked an interesting question for this Blog Carnival. They ask "What are your favorite color combinations? What do you create using those colors?"

There are lots of colors that I like to work with, so I decided to look through my shop and see what I have the most of. There is a lot of red and a lot of black, but it could be bacause I have many Christmas and Halloween items lingering around in my shop. I also have a lot of blue, blue beaded jewelry, blue winter themed ornaments and blue toys, blankets and scarves. Blue is a fun color to work with because there are so many lovely shades.

This beaded snowflake ornament has royal blue and light blue glass beads:

Blue also compliments a lot of other colors - it can be patriotic, funky and soft.

So, you see, having the blues isn't really a bad thing!

Monday, December 14, 2009

The Dog's Wishlist

For the first time ever, Made By Melissa has a special guest blogger, none other than, Mae, the family dog, otherwise known as my first born. Mae apparently has been surfing Etsy while my husband and I are away at work and has compiled the following wish list:

Hi, my name is Mae, I am a doggie, I live with Melissa and the man and the child. Melissa pets me and brushes me and feeds me. I make the man take me outside to walk around in circles in the middle of the night, I don't really have to go pee-pee, but he thinks I do, so he takes me out. The child scares me sometimes, I get even by eating his food and pulling his socks off his feet. He smells bad, sometimes they blame it on me. I don't like it when they do that. I want presents, these are the presents I want.

The Lady Is A Tramp - Adjustable Dog Collar by BigDoggy Bling - I like pink, I like wearing a collar, I am a lady. I don't know what a tramp is....

BACON! I like bacon... did someone say bacon? Wait, what was I talking about? Oh yeah, I like treats and I really, really, really, really like bacon. Oooo, bacon, did someone say bacon?? Sorry, I want these yummy treats Baconator Biscuits by MyPooperScooper:

I like to play, I like toys, I like toys that make noise, I like to play tug with the man, I like to try to pull him off the couch, its fun. I want a new toy! This one makes noise, has a ball and tug ends! WOOF!! It's called Red and Blue Crinkle Ball Stuffed Toy for Dogs and its from scrivenerferret:

Santa, please buy me these presents. I am a good dog (most of the time) and I want presents. Thank you!


Friday, December 11, 2009

Featured EtsyBlogger - CalKat

It's time for me to introduce you to the featured EtsyBlogger for the month of December. This month, things are a little different in that the Etsy shop is run by two people - Kathy and Carrie - CalKat!

The CalKat shop features one of a kind jewelry made with sterling silver, components, gemstones, semi-precious gemstones and Swarovski crystals.

Take a look at this Starfish Necklace:

Kathy and Carrie also have a blog and three more Etsy shops - Yoga Fairies, The Clay Shoppe, Ametista Artistic Offerings.

All four shops are offering free world wide shipping from now until the end of December. That's a deal that you won't want to miss out on!


Thursday, December 10, 2009

Agent Gibbs's Rules

I love NCIS, did you know that? Well, now you do. So, I felt the need to quote an entire blog post from the NCIS Fanatic.

I've found rule #39 to be quite applicable in real life, I don't know any Marines, so I can't attest to #23.

Nothing after this point was written by me!!

Gibbs' Rules — 50 Rules, But Only These Have Been Revealed

Leroy Jethro Gibbs has rules that he enforces with everyone on his team, in "Silver War" he told Ziva that there are approximately fifty rules. However, only a few rules have been revealed. Here are the rules that have been revealed so far:

Rule #1: Never let suspects stay together.

Rule #1: Never screw over your partner.

Rule #2: Always wear gloves at a crime scene.

Rule #3: Don't believe what you're told. Double check.

Rule #3: Never be unreachable.

Rule #4: The best way to keep a secret? Keep it to yourself. Second best? Tell one other person - if you must. There is no third best.

Rule #7: Always be specific when you lie.

Rule #8: Never take anything for granted.

Rule #9: Never go anywhere without a knife.

Rule #11: When the job is done, walk away.

Rule #12: Never date a coworker.

Rule #13: Never, ever involve a lawyer.

Rule #15: Always work as a team.

Rule #18: It's better to seek forgiveness than ask permission.

Rule #22: Never, ever bother Gibbs in interrogation.

Rule #23: Never mess with a Marine's coffee if you want to live.

Rule #38: Your case, your lead.

Rule #39: There is no such thing as coincidence.

Another one of Gibbs' rules which is used more often than the others, but without a number, is "Never apologize — Its a sign of weakness."

Posted by JOHN LOBBAN on Friday, November 27, 2009 in NCIS TV Show, Other NCIS Characters | Permalink

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

For My Man

Let's be honest, it can be hard to find gifts on Etsy for the men in your life, the site is overloaded with jewelry, hair accessories and other girlyness (is that a word?). Anyway, I have found two absolutely perfect gifts from two fellow EtsyNJ shops that would make my husband quite happy.

Genuine Leather Belt in Beautiful Brown by HawkLeather because every man needs a nice belt (and because the dog chewed up his brown belt. What? It's not her fault, he shouldn't have left it on the floor overnight)

And Balm for Sore Muscles by urbbody because he always has sore muscles (perhaps from working out, but more likely from falling asleep on the couch)

What are you getting your guy for Christmas???

Monday, December 7, 2009

Dear Santa, I'll take one of each!

I found my heaven!! I've been telling people that I don't want anything for Christmas and to just buy gifts for my son and my dog (yes, my dog gets Christmas presents, doesn't yours?). I have officially changed my mind!! I found a fabulous Etsy shop, called rparishwoodworks, that features handmade wooden crochet hooks in the most fantastic patterns and colors! There are over 100 hooks to choose from and let me tell you, I am having a difficult time selecting just one to feature here as my most wanted. For the purposes of this blog, I will feature one hook in each of my most used sizes.

I use a G hook for amigurumi: This TAHITIAN JADE WOOD SIZE G hook is a fabulous shade of green.

I use an H hook for most everything, including washcloths, scarves and blankets: How pretty is this WOOD CROCHET HOOK with STERLING SILVER HEART LOCKET size H

Sometimes I like to use an I hook when using worsted weight yarn to make blankets and scarves and I would simply love to give this one a whirl: RASPBERRY AND AQUA WOOD

And last, but not least, I love working with chunky homespun yarns, and as you all know, that requires a larger hook, and for that, I would like this ruby wood hook.

Dear Santa, please send one of the elves to pick up a few hooks for me, I would be very pleased. Love, Melissa

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Why Does it Always Have to be Snakes?!?

... I hate snakes! OK, well, perhaps Indy wouldn't be scared of these snakes, simply because they are so gosh darn cute! Each snake measures roughly 14 - 15 inches long, depending on the type of yarn I use, and as always, the eyes are sewn on using coordinating yarn making them safe for even the tiniest reptile fan.

Currently, I have 3 colorful snakes available in my Etsy Shop - orange with white stripes, green with light green stripes and red, white and blue.

These little guys can be made in any color you can think of. If your reptile lover has a favorite color, let me know! I can whip one up for you - simply send me a conversation in Etsy or leave a comment here with a way for me to contact you.

Happy Shopping!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Riverdell High School Holiday Bazaar - TODAY!!

Head on over to the Riverdell High School Holiday Bazaar TODAY!

Benefits the Erin Chack Fund
Date: Saturday, December 5, 2009
Time: 10:00am - 4:00pm
Location: Riverdell High School
Street: 55 Pyle Street
City/Town: Oradell, NJ

See the Facebook event page -

Friday, December 4, 2009

Gemalicious Beads: 'Tis the season ~ for our ginormous giveaway of beads!

Do you make jewelry? Do you love beads? Then you have to check out this awesome giveaway! Gemalicious Beads is offering a $55 prize pack!

Gemalicious Beads: Tis the season ~ for our ginormous giveaway of beads!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Needed: Warm, Loving Home for the Holidays

Clyde the Christmas Octopus has a cheery smile on his face and is hoping that somoene will take him home with them for the holidays! He'd love to have a human friend to snuggle with and share secrets with.

"Take me home, please!"

Clyde wants a new home so badly, that I will discount the price from $17.00 to $15.00 to anyone who puts "home for the holidays" in the notes to seller.

Happy Shopping!

RANTS FROM MOMMYLAND: The Stages of Childhood Illness

Here's one for all my fellow Mommies out there!
RANTS FROM MOMMYLAND: The Stages of Childhood Illness

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

I'm Featured at Happy Hound Creative!!

Check it out! Happy Hound Creative featured my red beaded bracelet in their holiday blog!

Riverdell High School Holiday Bazaar

Need something to do this Saturday? Need to get some more holiday gifts? Just want to see my awesome things in person? Then head over to the Riverdell High School Holiday Bazaar!

Benefits the Erin Chack Fund
Date: Saturday, December 5, 2009
Time: 10:00am - 4:00pm
Location: Riverdell High School
Street: 55 Pyle Street
City/Town: Oradell, NJ

See the Facebook event page -

This is my last event of the season, I hope to see everyone there!