Wednesday, July 30, 2014


Sandy just made a treasury ---- to remind us it's not far away.

GO SEE   --- yup, just click on the "Go See" :+)  

Monday, July 28, 2014


OK short short blog -- BUT I just found something. I'm in a goof off mood tonight so I went to Sandy's shop to see what she'd been up too ... and found THIS:

IS THIS ADORABLE OR WHAT????? Sing along with me ... "Sleigh bells ring, are ya listnen, in the lane, snow is glisten'n"

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Wanelo - A Place to Browse

I used to post all of my listings to Wanelo, but I found it more time consuming than Pinterest. Today I wandered back into Wanelo and was amazed at how far it's come. While it is probably the poor stepchild of Pinterest still, it shouldn't be -- things are much easier to find on it. And if you own a shop anywhere, it is SO much easier to post on it AND FROM IT you can also post on Pinterest and Twitter. If you love to window shop on line, by all means try Wanelo and if you own a shop on the internet, I'd say it is worth taking the time to check it out!!!

Friday, July 25, 2014

Why We're On Etsy

Could NOT believe what happened today. I was looking around in ebay and found a large lot of a certain item I wanted to bid on. I wrote the seller to ask her if there were ANY flaws in any of the items. Her reply was "I don't go through a lot this big and look for things like THAT. I start them at a low price and whoever gets it, gets it". She lost a $300 plus bid. AND THAT is why we sell on Etsy -- because of so many sellers on ebay like the one I got acquainted with today.

Google - The Unbelievable "Machine"

Has anyone else ever noticed this? OR perhaps this is the first year google is doing this. Today when I logged in my google "image" was a birthday cake, party hats, noisemakers and I thought "how funny, they're using this image on my birthday" --- so I clicked on it to see what famous person or event was born or had happened on my birthday. But, the click to me to my google plus page :+) I hovered over the image and it said "happy birthday Ann". Truly, the minds behind google are absolutely amazing. If all of us who sell on line OR work regular jobs, OR are looking for jobs could approach every task with this same refreshing outlook we'd all be billionaires -- well maybe not quite!!! LOL! THANKS GOOGLE!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014


It's been a LONG day in Annie-Land and I'm not sure what I actually got done :+) Actually I fought with YouTube most of the day and if ANYONE is reading this who knows a simple way of explaining to me how you get the "subscribe" button onto your YouTube page I would very much appreciate it! ( Seriously -- Tomorrow starts the rush for the weekend -- except it seems some of our "broads" in here won't be doing that. In fact, I believe only Lois and I will be doing that! Arleen has had her granddaughter with her for about 10 days now, and they're going to take her to the lake and have other fun things planned and THEN they get to take her home so Arleen also gets to see her daughter. Sandy's daughter is home visiting and they've taken off to see the grandparents. Lois, does that mean you and I are dedicated workers or are we just DUMB??? :+) In a couple of weeks I have a surgery coming up --- all together now --- "oohhhh pooooor Annie" :+) As long as the surgeon is careful as he slits my throat I'll be fine (I think!) :+) I really don't allow myself to think about it much. I was awake for the biopsy (he stabbed me in the throat -- this NEXT one slices LOL) but I'll be gratefully asleep for the surgery! Granddaughter was here this weekend helping me start the YouTube thing and when it came time to upload the video she said "oh THAT'S easy -- you can do that" so I figured she was right. THEN I saw my page with no subscribe button!! That morning our youngest granddaughter was in the Cornhusker State Games competing in gymnastics. She was winner of a bronze medal and was tickled to death. Was so much fun -- it's club gymnastics so they have three age groups (our little gal is going to be 11). They were all fun to watch but those little tiny 5 year olds were just adorable!! Hope everyone is having a good week -- we are sweltering here but tomorrow it's supposed to "get DOWN to 92" so hey --- I better quit complaining :+)

Saturday, July 19, 2014


Before I had a retail shop, I was always amazed at how IRL (in real life) stores started planning for Christmas in July.  AND it drove me nuts when immediately after Halloween we'd start seeing Christmas items in stores. Now that I'm "one of them" (a store) I understand, and especially as the sole owner and proprietor.  It is impossible to wait until close to Thanksgiving and then put all the things people might want and need (and purchase) for Christmas into the shop in a couple of days. Nearly everyone on Etsy is starting to put out their Christmas items and for those of you who love Christmas and plan ahead then you'll love shopping our shops.  I build up my inventory the first half of the year and then start putting it on the shop shelves about now.  And I've always been happy to find out there are a LOT of people who are like me -- maybe you have a closet or cabinet just like I do, where, when you find something and think "oh Hubby would LOVE this" you buy it, and put it away until it's time to wrap gifts. Some of my newest items are for collectors and these are in my annswhimseypaper shop.


Sandy, at Hugs and Holidays is sewing her fingers to the bone (well I hope not literally, making her beautiful totes, which are such fun gifts to give and very "cost efficient" for your wallet too.  I showed you her gift bags in a previous post but these are her totes -- which friends and relatives love!

Sandy feels like I do about Christmas ... she says:

Oh, I am just a big kid at heart. I LOVE the holidays, especially Christmas. I think of Christmas all year long, and just like a child, the closer I get to December 25, the more excited I get. I love sewing and crafting for Christmas and every year I tell myself that I will get started earlier this year. Yeah, don't believe me because I then start browsing and go down memory lane with her collection of Little Golden Books. I think I had all of them. If I don't get off the computer right then, I end up spending more of my time in remembering how those American Girl Doll clothes look just like the little dresses I wore when I was a little girl......So well made you probably could put them on your little human doll :)

Well, just in case you are looking for fabric gift bags at hugsandholidays. I guess I had better get back to my sewing machine. Stop by and say "hello". Tell me that you "read about the offer in this blog" in checkout and I will give you a 10% discount good until August 15, 2014. See you soon :)

AND then we have Lois, who is working with her brand new Bernina sewing machine, getting items made and put into her shop, Oh My That's Pretty, for Christmas buyers. 


Lois is always thinking of something new to add to her shop so stop by often. Look for gifts for those you love, or give yourself a gift!!! 

We Are ETSY, Not Ebay

I  have many friends, relatives, and people I work with whom I am sure have never been in my Etsy shop.  If I ask if they've seen it, they change the subject or say "oh I don't go for stuff like that".  It finally dawned on me --- they are probably picturing another EBAY. First, years and years ago I sold on ebay. And ebay IS a turnoff, much moreso now than it was then. SO this is for my friends and for anyone else who says  "I don't want to visit another on-line place to shop". It's time you give Etsy a chance. 

Etsy is NOT ebay. We are not cluttered. We don't have a carnival atmosphere. We don't have barkers shouting "bid here"!!!! We don't say "make me an offer".   And we don't make the price ridiculously low but charge you twice as much for shipping as about 50% of ebay sellers do.

We are a SHOPPING MALL, plain and simple. It is exactly like walking into a real life shopping mall, only you have lots more choices. There are no ads at the sides of the pages. The pages are not crammed with information you don't even care about. We are a MALL. Think of us as the "Mall of America" only bigger -- much bigger. Shop owners come from all over the world -- so think of us as the "Mall of the World". AND I've had people say to me "OH but I have to sign up to look around". No kidding. You have to do the same at Amazon. You have to do the same at anyplace you shop on line. SO you sign up. We have no hit men following you. 

It's like GOING TO THE MALL!!!!  AND it's actually much easier than going to the mall. You can shop from your armchair.  If you live in a small town, you pay more in gas to drive to the city to shop than you would in postage at Etsy. One thing all merchants in Etsy are aware of is the cost of shipping and I've never seen anyone overcharging for postage. AND you can buy gifts you could never buy in whatever big city you live near. Last year our granddaughter got a bag from England to take to college.  Two of my granddaughters got infinity scarves from California. This year one of my daughters in law is getting a gift from England but I won't say what it is as no doubt she'll be in here reading (hi Carrie!!)  :+) 

Shopping at Etsy is more fun than going to ANY mall. Over 300,000 shops. No one who sells in Etsy is a scam artist. All sales and all items sold are carefully monitored.  If you can go to your nearest mall and find items or collectibles from every state in the nation, antiques from all over the world, gifts from Germany, Australia, Ireland, Scotland, and handmades from anywhere imaginable, then go shop there. IF you want to spend the money for gas and take a few weeks doing it.  Let me repeat myself one more time -- ETSY IS NOT EBAY!!! 


Annie, this is so true. We are friendly and more personable than Ebay will ever be. I have sold on Ebay and I did well, but the emails and comments were so cold and hateful. I always made the sale, but the way the questions were asked was a little bitter to the taste.

Then one day my daughter said, "Mom, I think I've found the perfect site for's called Etsy"... My reply was "What's an etsy?" The answer, of course, was a perfect place to give birth to Hugs and Holidays :) Then I got pregnant again and gave birth to "Craft Stuff Depot. I enjoy both of my "kids" and I enjoy seeing them grow.

The Broads From Etsy Welcome You!

HELLO -- I'M Ann (of annswhimsey and annswhimseypaper)

And to start things out -- let me tell you about 2014 and what a lousy year it's been. For the whole country, it's not been any too good. The winter was horrible and continued from 2013 into 2014. Floods followed the snow. Then we zipped into tornado season much earlier and with a bigger bang this year than any year I can remember.  The little home town we grew up in was about 75% destroyed on Mother's Day by two tornadoes. At the moment (July 2014) we are seeing tornado warnings for New England for heavens sake. And Arthur reminded us just a few weeks ago that hurricane season is upon us. I predict this coming winter will come sooner and "worser" (I like to make up words) than our previous one. Don't throw rocks at me. It's only a prediction. If I'm right you can burn me at the stake.

For US personally this year has been a nightmare. It began with little things like having to pay a plumber to fix our fresh water drain; then the electrician who found more things wrong than we thought. THEN I was diagnosed with diabetes and was still trying to get used to the many changes that brings into one's life when my husband ended up in the hospital. He underwent a major surgery and was hospitalized for 15 days.  He has finally recovered but in the meantime my OB/GYN found a lump on my thyroid. I've gone in for the biopsy (fine needle biopsy which means he stabbed me in the neck three times) and the pathology returned "indeterminate".  Since I work in medical, I was not surprised -- MOST thyroid biopsies return with that diagnosis. SO I am now scheduled to have my right thyroid lobe removed in August (this will be more interesting, as this doctor will be slitting my throat).  

This year our oldest grandson got his driver's license and had his first wreck. Having been parents of three children, this was not an unexpected surprise and fortunately it was not a bad wreck.  Maybe I'm just getting old and more aware of the sky falling in, but I think not.  I think if we make it to 2015 we should get a respite for the next five years!! :+)

Then, on Mother's Day, our little home town (we don't live there anymore, but it is where hubby and I both grew up), was about 70% wiped out by a tornado. We still have family and friends who live there and it was horrible to go "home" and see the town looking like several bombs had exploded in it. Fortunately, while it was at least an F3, possible F4 tornado, not one person was hurt physically. The clean up still continues now in July. We were especially blessed that my husband's brother, his wife, their three sons and their families were not hurt. They had (and have) cleaning up and rebuilding to do but they were safe.


One of my favorite shops on Etsy is the one that keeps me from wrapping gifts.  Hugs and Holidays is owned by Sandy, who makes great gift bags and wonderful totes.  I thought when I first started using the gift bags "and now I'll save these and use them again each year" but the kids loved them so much they weren't about to forget them at Grandma's ... they took them home with them and have their own stash of bags now.  I think they look forward to what gift bags they'll get as much as they look forward to opening them and reaping their stash!

Sandy is also a dear friend. We have decided we've known each other since we were kids and in fact reminisce about our younger days and how much trouble we got into together. We've also been planning our 100th birthday party since about the third month after we got acquainted. 

And here's some of Sandy's work:


Here is another friend of mine who sells on Etsy -- and creates beautiful items (NOW with her brand new Bernina sewing machine). Lois is the owner of Oh My That's Pretty. She can make anything, from purses to pillows, to unique picture frames. Oh My That's Pretty is a great place to look for gifts!


   Here's Arleen

Another friend, Arleen, makes the most beautiful doll clothes. Right now my granddaughter is BIG into American Girl dolls and clothes. Last Christmas I spent more on ONE outfit for her American Girl doll than I spend on clothes for myself (no exaggeration!).  If you're a gram or a mom (or anyone buying for a little girl, you have GOT to see Arleens' shop.  Her sewing is outstanding, the outfits are gorgeous and they are a mere fraction of the price of "name brand" doll clothes. Her shop is Sew Dolly Cute and she also carries My Size Barbie clothes that are wonderful too!

We all want to welcome you to our blog and our shops. We hope you will follow us on this blog. Of course we will be talking a lot about our shops, but we'll also be telling you about our lives and the ups and downs of working from our homes, selling on line, AND about our families and lives!

Start Your Christmas Lists

You think I'm crazy? It IS time to start thinking about Christmas. We are more than halfway through the year. If you love Christmas like I do, you've probably been buying since January 1st. I did that for years until the grandkids started coming and things they loved changed from year to year. Now for them, I just put money back each month and we do the buying for them in October. For the adult children, I try to give them something memorable. I'm a scrapbooker and all the children and grandchildren get a scrapbook each year.  Now that I also sell on Etsy, I am constantly finding things that the adult children will like, or things that will bring back memories (or make new memories) for them. 

One of my favorite shops on Etsy is the one that keeps me from wrapping gifts.  Hugs and Holidays is owned by Sandy who is a good friend and one of the Broads from Etsy. She makes great gift bags.  I thought when I first started using them "and now I'll save these and use them again each year" but the kids loved them so much they weren't about to forget them at Grandma's ... they took them home with them and have their own stash of bags now.  I think they look forward to what gift bags they'll get as much as they look forward to opening them a reaping their stash!