Tuesday, June 28, 2011


As the 4th of July approaches, I have been thinking about what defines American culture. Or does the United States even have a specific/dominant culture? Some feel the U.S. has no true culture compared to the "older" civilizations of Europe, Asia, and elsewhere. I searched the Internet for answers. One website dealing with worldwide culture, etiquette, customs and protocol stated that: "America is ultimately a nation of immigrants and as a result is a cultural mish-mash in every sense of the word".

It's true that America is a nation of immigrants. Only about 1% of the population is Native American. But is the Country a mish-mash? The definition of mish-mash is a "jumble". A jumble is described as: "a mass of things mingled together without order or plan". I think it can be safely said that the U.S is not without order or plan. The children of the various immigrants all go to school (for free). Those who become citizens vote, pay taxes, and serve jury duty. With each successive wave of immigrants, there is a blending of old ways with new ideas.

How do people in other countries view American culture? Most know Americans from television shows, movies and music. (Which is a rather scary thought, considering much of our entertainment attempts to derive humor out of extreme stupidity). Though sometimes exaggerated, American values do come across in those venues. Beliefs such as human nature is basically good, accomplishments and winning are important, and individuals have the right to choose what is best for them, even if it means going against the group.

Americans are often thought to be too direct and informal, striking up conversations with strangers, or commenting on the behavior of other people's children. We are curious and will stop and gawk at traffic accidents, or watch long and tedious car chases on television. Foreign visitors are confused by our complex list of social rules about where and how much to tip. (So are most Americans). A bathroom is where the toilet is, and may or may not include a bathtub. Women do not go topless on the beach. Americans do not know how to barter or haggle (except for cars). We do not bribe anyone in a position of power unless we want to take the chance of being arrested.

The United States does have a culture. How do I know for sure? Because every 4th of July, without fail, Americans celebrate. We put out our flags, dress in red, white, and blue, have barbecues, and watch fireworks. We are not a mish-mash, but a Country with a deep sense of being American that is not always easy to put into words.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Mission Treasury! The Hostess with the Mostess

Mission Treasury is all about getting you, our readers, in on the treasury making fun! We also hope that you will find a shop or two to introduce us to that is fun and exciting!

So, we will be posting a theme and 4 shops each Monday - and challenging you to create a treasury that fits the theme and contains at least one item from one of the 4 featured shops.

You will have one week to create your treasury, and come back to the blog post and leave your treasury as a comment.

The best treasury will be featured, and all treasuries submitted will be mentioned!

The results of this weeks Mission Treasury will be posted on July 6th 2011!

Mission: This is a great time of year for parties and get togethers! Be gracious to your host and hostess! Create a treasury full of great host and hostess gifts!

Shops to choose from (you must include at least one item from one of these shops)





Thursday, June 23, 2011

Team Member Spotlight! RobinsFlight!

This week we proudly introduce - Robins Flight! Take a look below at an example of one of her beautiful bags.

1. Your name, nickname and a little about who you are
My name is Robin (no nickname really other than Mom), and I'm a stay at home mom of 2 great kids, ages 6 and 3. Before that, I did cancer research. I think being a mom is the harder of the two jobs!

2. Surprise us with something about you that you think will shock us!
For most of my life, until about a year before I had my first child, I didn't want kids...at all! So now, of course, that's all I do.

3. What is your main craft/art/collectible?
I make crocheted, fabric lined bags, purses and wallets.

4. How did you start with Etsy?
I've been crocheting as a hobby for a long time. I started making bags, since they're faster and easier than, say, afghans. Then I started creating my own patterns and lining them. I found Etsy as a means to justify making them.

5. Any secrets to share for success?
I really don't feel like I've been that successful, at least not in terms of sales or profits. But I guess my secret would be to do it because I enjoy it, and use that as my guide, not how much I sell. It's a hobby for me, a creative outlet, so as long as I'm enjoying it, and hopefully selling a few along the way, it's a success.

6. Hobbies or pastime when you are not doing Etsy.
I love to read, when I find the time, though I tend to drop everything to finish a book once I start. I sometimes like to try variations on my crochet, like thread crochet too. And my daughter is getting into the craft thing too, so I like doing projects with her.

7. Where would your dream vacation be? and why?
My husband and I went on a lot of trips before we had kids, so a lot of the places I'd like to see I've already been. If there's one place I'd really like to go still, it's Alaska. It sounds like a beautiful, awe inspiring, breathtaking place.

8. What do you hope to contribute and gain from Hearts and Hands United?
It's really easy to get stuck in measuring Etsy success by sales, and forget the reason we're all here- because we love to create. The HHU team is a great place to connect, to feel at home, to help each other remember why we do what we do, and maintain focus, to encourage one another, and even give some help in getting those sales. So I hope I can encourage and help others in that, and be encouraged when I need it.

9.Where can we find you?
Your shop address

Facebook address

10. Where do you draw your inspiration from? Your strength?
First and foremost, my strength for anything and everything comes from my faith in God. I also have great support from my husband- for Etsy as well as for being a SAHM or whatever else I feel compelled to do, he's there telling me, "go for it!" And even my kids- they love seeing my new creations being made, as long as I have the time to put down the computer or my crochet and play a game with them now and then! My inspirations come from all over- what I want and need in a bag, pretty fabrics I find, colors in nature, someone else's bag that catches my eye, even sometimes a yarn or notion that I'd love to find a use for!

11. Free writing anything you want to say
I've been really glad to have HHU and the friends thread! Being home with just the kids so much, it's been such a help to know I can drop in, say hi, and have people acknowledge me, there to say hi, to give encouragement, to be friends. Thanks guys!