Best Birthday Ever! Thanks to the Best Idea Ever!

Punched tin and Gypsy Trade Beads - Dragonfly 

I had a really big brain storm a couple weeks before my birthday this year! I emailed Diane and suggested that we purchase birthday gifts to each other from online shops featured in our Supporting Free Series.

After all, we would be buying gifts so why not take the opportunity of our birthdays to support crafty shop owners?

Her reply came back immediately - "I love this -1 million times!"

I sent her a big list so that whatever she selected would be a surprise!

This is hands down the best idea I have had in ages! I had a ball "shopping" for my gifts! And then there was the anticipation of wondering which items Diane would select! Waiting for my "Birthday Dinner" was excruciating!

Gypsy Trade Beads

Gypsy Trade Beads have been on my "I want" list for months. My original intention - to make a punched tin butterfly. But the way Erin had arranged them in the package made me think dragonfly!

It anyone is interested in a tutorial for making the dragonfly at the beginning of this post,you will find it here   

And Erin even added extras to Diane's order so I would have more to play with! Thank you Erin! Punched Tin butterfly is next!

You will find more in Erin's on line shop, Elysian Studios Shop. And don't miss her very cool blog here!

Custom Crochet hook by Polka Dot Cottage

When I first saw a crochet hook very similar to this one in Diane's hands I was smitten! So one of the first items on my list was this little beauty made by Lisa at Polka Dot Cottage.

And look at those adorable buttons Lisa included with the hook! I love my buttons, Lisa! Thank you!

Whew! I am so glad Diane made the decision to make this one of my gifts because Lisa only makes these when the whim strikes! Currently she is in the process of dismantling Polka Dot Creations - which means she is having a huge sale!

But as I understand it, she will continue to create tutorials and downloads on Polka Dot Cottage and write about her love affair with polymer clay on her blog!

Scarf knitted using yarn from Yarnia

I have had my eye on this gorgeous "Pamela" yarn from Yarnia for almost a whole year! Happily it too was one of Diane's selections!

Lindsay - owner of Yarnia - even tucked in a gift certificate for the shop!!  Thank you, Lindsay! I will be shopping again soon - I love Yarnia yarns!

And Avital's pattern for the scarf can be found right here on her blog This & That. What I love about this scarf is that the pattern is interesting but simple - knit, purl and knitting in the back loop - and this scarf will not need to be blocked when finished! You could almost call it a self-blocking pattern!

And FYI right now is a very good time to visit Avital's blog and her flicker- she has begun posting her remarkable collection of images taken with her "pro-gear" in Italy. You will find them marked Italy 2012.

Gnome pattern by "That's Woolley Something Having received a gift of money, I immediately ordered several patterns on my wish list!

Mary Mayhew's totally adorable knit/felted gnome pattern (above) can also be made as a Santa, leprechaun or witch!

You can find the pattern and many more - equally creative and delightful - in her shop That's Woolly Something.

And don't forget - she has also started a new blog called "Been There. Done That.  (My Pinterest Summer Adventure)". Did you know those old mason jars you have sitting around your house can be used on your blender? Check it out! I am loving this blog!

Crochet Matryishka by ATERGcrochet

Image taken from ATERGcrochet Shop - Matryoshka

It is no secret that I am learning to crochet using patterns created by Greta at ATERGcrochet! I ordered this adorable Matryoshka - and a couple others I can not share as they are secret gifts!

She is constantly adding new patterns so visit often!  And check out these precious little fish, OMG! And sweet little birds!

Basket of yarns order for crochet projects

Learning to crochet ATERGcrochet Christmas Balls has consumed all the "left over" yarn in my stash, so when my sweetie asked me what I wanted for my birthday - I didn't hesitate! I went shopping at Knit Picks for a dozen brilliant yummy colors for my future crochet projects!

And now! I am looking forward to receiving Diane's birthday gift list so I can go shopping for her!

So what do you think?  Good idea?


I would love to see the

I would love to see the dragonfly tutorial! It is AWESOME!

Nancy, the dragonfly tutorial

Nancy, the dragonfly tutorial is right here:

Happy Birthday!! Looks like

Happy Birthday!! Looks like you received lots of fun goodies. I think it is a great idea to make lists from online shops. You'll get something you love and still be surprised.

Yous dragonfly is adorable!!

Lovely, lovely idea. I look

Lovely, lovely idea. I look forward to following the links in your post :-) Happy Belated B-day!!

We celebrated MidSummer with

We celebrated MidSummer with friends with a potluck in their garden (along with picnic bugs) and made Mohitos at their outdoor, rainbarrel powered sink. I brought midsummer sticks that my sons made 8+ years ago to add to the garden. A huge storm came through and the sticks have "melted" but it was a wonderful night!!

This was a great idea! Happy

This was a great idea!
Happy Birthday!
It sounds like it was wonderful & you got just what you wanted.

Oh, Happy birthday Pam!!!

Oh, Happy birthday Pam!!! :)))
i really like the dragonfly!!!
And the idea you had is great!

Thank you one and all for

Thank you one and all for your birthday wishes! Kinda surprised since my focus was on the whole idea of supporting online free and using birthdays as an excuse to do so!!

Wasn't expecting birthday wishes - but - thank you! 

Re the dragonfly - to all who responded on this post (and to the email version of the post ) telling me a tutorial would be welcome - I will comply!!! :-)

Look for it to appear here on this blog in July!!


Fabulous idea and wonderful gifts.

Happy Birthday! Looks like

Happy Birthday! Looks like you are stocked up with all sorts of wonderful crafty goodness now. What a great idea to trade your support free lists! P.S. Those are really YUMMY colors of yarn and I love that dragon fly! I never would have seen a dragon fly in those beads, but now that you've shown the way... of course it's a dragon fly. Couldn't have been anything else!

: )

Happy belated birthday, Pam!

Happy belated birthday, Pam! What a fantastic idea you had! Crafty and/or craft supply gifts are always some of my favorites, as well! So glad you had a happy birthday! Thanks for sharing your awesome idea!
Big hugs,

Happy Birthday! What lovely,

Happy Birthday! What lovely, fun gifts! Hope you had a terrific birthday!

Oops! Is it your birthday?

Oops! Is it your birthday? Happy Birthday! And this is a really cool idea. I think giving things to other people for our own birthdays is also a great idea! I better get to the craft table.!

Do you mean the dragon fly at

Do you mean the dragon fly at the top of the page? I think it is beautiful and would love to see a tutorial on it. Thanks

What a wonderful idea, and I

What a wonderful idea, and I love you choices!

I am just stunned at how

I am just stunned at how beautiful that dragonfly is!! I love it!!! All of your new goodies are so lovely, and I am happy you had a great birthday!!

Yes... Absolutely yes! More

Yes... Absolutely yes! More than yes! I am interested in the dragonfly tutorial.

BTW, what a great birthday idea. You have good brain-storms!

Thank you Elizabeth!  I am

Thank you Elizabeth!  I am glad you like my brain storm!!!


I'm so happy for you!!! What

I'm so happy for you!!! What a fantastic birthday and idea!! They all look wonderful and I love that knitting pattern you are working on. :)

Happy Birthday, Pam!!