Saturday, October 27, 2012

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Can You Believe It? Five Years This Month!

Am celebrating five years on Etsy with a giveaway!  Anyone is welcome to enter.  Just go to my shop: and select your favorite item ($20 or less in value).  Then email me at, telling me what that item is, and you will be entered in my Fifth Anniversary Giveaway.  Entries must be received by midnight EDT on October 13.  Drawing will be done sometime on October 14.  Winner's name  and the item selected will be shared here, on Twitter and Facebook.  Have fun!  Can't wait to see what those who enter would like to win!

Saturday, March 3, 2012


Two hundred thirty-six people.  Thirty-nine countries.  Diverse citizenships, diverse languages.  All about to become new citizens of the United States. Our daughter’s sister-in-law was one of those in this very long line waiting outside the U.S. Immigration Services building in Miami on February 24.

the line

After entering the building, those who would participate in the citizenship ceremony went one way, and the visitors were seated in the back of the fairly large room.

in the roomMusic was playing in the background, including “Battle Hymn of the Republic” sung by Elvis Presley, and “Proud to be an American.”  The soon-to-be citizens filed in and took their places in the chairs reserved for them.  A supervisor for the U.S. Immigration Services welcomed everyone, and all stood for the playing of the “Star Spangled Banner” and then for the pledge of allegiance to the flag, led by a man from Venezuela.

The supervisor then asked  anyone who had served in the U.S. military prior to that day to stand and be recognized.  After watching a video showing photos of immigrants over the past 230 years, the supervisor  asked that each person stand as the name of their original country was read.  Enthusiastic clapping from the visitors followed the name of each country, with citizens from those 39 countries ranging from 1 to 18.  Argentina (13), Columbia  (15), Haiti (18), Cuba (17), Nicaragua (16), and Venezuela (18) had the highest numbers.

All becoming naturalized citizens that day then stood, raised their right hands, and took the oath of citizenship.  The speaker noted that those folks had chosen to become U. S. citizens for various reasons:  freedom to practice the faith of their choice; freedom to live freely; freedom to pursue their dreams, which with hard work, they would be able to fulfill.  She urged them to be responsible citizens, to learn the issues and vote, to obey the laws, to respect others, to learn to compromise, to keep the areas where they reside safe.  Another video, “God Bless the USA” was played, and as each person received his or her certificate of naturalization, “Proud to be an American” was played again. Each new citizen also received a voter registration form and a U.S. passport application.

There was joy and excitement on the faces of the new citizens and on those of the visitors who had come to share in this wonderful experience.  Just outside the building was a replica of the Statue of Liberty, and many took photos next to it.

the girls Shown left to right are our daughter’s mother-in-law, Marina;  my 94-year old mother, Helen; Wendy (the new U.S. citizen), our granddaughter, Kayti, and me.  I learned so much that day and appreciated the citizenship ceremony more than I can say.  It all confirmed what I have always said about myself … if I weren’t already a citizen of the U.S., I would do everything possible to become one.  Diverse we are, but united we should stand, living and caring in such a way that we respect all. 

Speaking of diversity in another way, the members of the BBest team are very diversified in the mediums in which they choose to create wonderful handmade items.  Below are just a few of those creations.

annasjewelry montreal Annas Jewelry - Montreal

paintingsbykate ladd north carolina

Paintings by Kate Ladd – North Carolina

sylviel vermont

SylvieL – Vermont

sassalynne fleet england

Sassalynne – Fleet, England

katzscreations massachusetts

Katzs Kreations – Massachusetts

coloursandtextures london england

Colours and Textures – London, England

ajscountycottage missouri

AJs Country Cottage – Missouri

To view over 3000 items created by the Bbest team members, go to, then next to Handmade, enter Bbest team, and search.  You will be delighted at the variety of creations you find there.

This post written by Pam Todd, Bags and More by Pam, who creates hand-crocheted items for people, pets, and homes. This post published simultaneously at

Friday, October 28, 2011

The Best Laid Plans of…….. by Pam Todd

Well, you’ve heard the saying, “The best laid plans of mice and men….” and the one about a certain road paved with good intentions!  That seems to be the case right now!!  Having a hard time being timely…. And also wondering why my Comcast internet signal always seems to come and go on Friday mornings … if it isn’t one thing, it’s another, as another old saying goes!

Thanks to all those who entered my giveaway in celebration of my fourth year (October 13) on Etsy with my shop: where I feature hand-crocheted items for people, pets, and homes.

As promised, I took a photo of the entries hand-written on small pieces of paper, somewhat neatly folded, and placed in my stainless steel mixing bowl, (which by the way belonged to my grandma, and which I have had since January, 1964, and which she had had since 1952) and then stirred diligently with a wooden spoon (only a few years old).

The second photo was of my dear hubby’s unbiased, completely impartial hand (certified by Price, Water…..whoops, actually by me), reaching in to draw out the lucky winner!

However, I’ve been through the photos on my iphone (forwards and backwards), and those photos aren’t there!! There are two empty white spaces there……….no doubt the missing photos! So, I apologize for not having the photos of the entries being stirred and the winner drawn.

The winner is El, and this is what she chose (as my giveaway allowed the lucky entrant to choose anything from my shop that he or she wanted valued at $28 or less)-- a 100% cotton Pamper Yourself Bath Set

500pyellowwhitebluegreenscrubbie washcloth

Each entrant will be contacted via email, thanking them for participating, and letting them know I wish I could have made them all winners! 

Friday, October 7, 2011

In Celebration of Four Years!

Almost four years ago on October 13, 2007, I opened my Etsy store, featuring hand-crocheted items for people, pets, and homes.  To celebrate my 4th anniversary, I’m having a giveaway.  Just follow these steps to enter:
1.  Go to
2.  Browse through the shop
3.  Choose any item valued at $28 and below that you would love to have.  Click on that item.  Copy the link at the top and put it in an email to me:
4.   When your choice arrives, I will write your name on a piece of paper, fold it, and put it in a large stainless steel bowl (sorry, I don’t have a fish bowl!)
5.  Giveaway entries accepted from  Sat., October 8 through Tuesday October 18 .    Please enter only once, or my stainless steel bowl may overflow!  The drawing (after stirring and mixing the entries) will be done by my blindfolded husband (he did this for me last year, and I promise, he won’t cheat!) will be done on Wed., Oct. 19.  All entrants will be notified by email of the lucky winner.
6.  Giveaway open to all!  Have fun!

Friday, August 26, 2011

Oooooooops!!!……………………………….by Pam Todd

You may remember Mary Frances.  She was featured here ( awhile back. She had been found by her owners, Bill and Clarice, lying on her side amidst the rest of the flock, dehydrated.

mary frances four

Bill and Clarice brought her to the house, where they nurtured her back to full health.  It was several weeks before they decided she was ready to rejoin the flock.  As Mary Frances sauntered back to the chicken yard, they watched her go, being very thankful that she had recovered so well.

Just this week, I went down to Bill and Clarice’s house to buy some home grown tomatoes (gave up on growing my own a few years ago, when one evening we had the tallest, most beautiful tomato plants one could imagine, staked up all lush and green, and the next morning we had six inch stems.  Every plant had been eaten by deer.  That was a sad day.  I love homegrown tomatoes.)  And, also to buy some fresh, brown eggs laid by the mommies in their flock.  As Clarice was getting my eggs, she said, “Did I tell you about Mary Frances?”  I said, “No, is she oaky?”  She laughed and said, “Well, when she walked back to the flock that day, she stopped, lifted up her head, puffed up her chest, and crowed the biggest crow you could every hear.  I looked at Bill, and he looked at me, and Bill said, ‘I think Mary Frances just became Marty Francis!’”

I giggled all the way back to the car.  You just never know!  Apologies to Marty!

This post written by Pam Todd, a member of the Crafting for Animals Guild on Artfire, and owner of Bags and More by Pam, a shop featuring hand-crocheted items for people, pets, and homes.  Pam also supports the Elephant Sanctuary in Hohenwald, Tennessee, (  She will also participate in the Crafting for Animals team’s October project to publicize National Adopt a Shelter Dog month by featuring a coupon that will donate 10% of her sales during one week of October to the Close to Home shelter.  Watch for more information on the team’s project to help this wonderful shelter.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Meet Mary Frances by Pam Todd of Bags and More by Pam

This is Mary Frances.  She is one of 52 chickens that my friends, Bill and Clarice, have in their flock. 

mary frances four

A coupe of weeks ago, they went to feed the chickens and found Mary Frances lying on her side.  She was dehydrated from the heat.  They took her straight to their house, where it was cool, and placed a bowl of water on the floor.  She drank and drank and drank that first day.  But, she didn’t eat.  The second day, she drank less and started eating a little bit.  They offered her corn and chicken feed.  The day I stopped to visit, and purchase some fresh brown eggs, my friends and Mary Frances were all sitting outside in the yard.  I asked whether the beautiful chicken was their newest pet.  That’s when they told me the story of her dehydration.

mary frances three

Clarice said, “She thinks she has her own private motel now,” and grinned.  I asked, “Why is that?”  Bill answered, “Well at night she comes into the house and sleeps in a cage.”  Then I asked what she does during the day.  They said that when they are outside in the lawn chairs, she stays close by, hunting for food in the lawn.  She likes bits of grass, too, they said.  When they are inside the house, Mary Frances stays on the patio, under the picnic table.

mary frances one

I asked how long it would take Mary Frances to fully recover. They thought about two more weeks, and then she would return to the flock and continue providing the fresh brown eggs that these well cared for, naturally fed chickens are producing. 

mary frances five eggs

When I think about the loving care my friends are giving to their chickens, I am thankful.  And when I think how delicious those eggs are, I feel fortunate that Bill and Clarice and their 52 chickens are just down the road.  And when I look at Mary Frances, with her beautiful golden brown feathers, well, she is just simply adorable.  I was so glad I stopped by.

This post written by Pam Todd,, an avid animal lover, who is fascinated and loves learning about all kinds of animals.  Pam hand crochets items for people, pets, and homes.  She contributes annually to The Elephant Sanctuary in Hohenwald, Tennessee and provides gift certificates to fund-raisers benefitting animal shelters and rescue organizations.