Fiber art scarves handbags yarn pillowcases headbands

Chicago, Illinois · 2690 Sales


Fiber art scarves handbags yarn pillowcases headbands

Chicago, Illinois 2690 Sales On Etsy since 2008

5 out of 5 stars

Announcement   Your expedition begins with wearable art scarves for women and men, purses for cell phones, batik totes, felted wool handbags, exotic pillowcases, table runners, winter hats & hoods & headbands. Bohemian, tribal, rustic. 16-22 yarn skeins ship for $13.99. FAQ's below listing description will answer most of your questions.


Last updated on Dec 20, 2016

Your expedition begins with wearable art scarves for women and men, purses for cell phones, batik totes, felted wool handbags, exotic pillowcases, table runners, winter hats & hoods & headbands. Bohemian, tribal, rustic. 16-22 yarn skeins ship for $13.99. FAQ's below listing description will answer most of your questions.

dj runnels

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dj runnels

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Yarn dyeing with leaky gloves is problematic. But you guys are worth it.
Holiday Greetings from Life's an Expedition. Take a look at our unusual gift suggestions. We stand ready to ship your order pronto.


Life's an Expedition. And your expedition is about to begin.

I'm writer/artist dj runnels. If a casual glance at my shop suggests I cannot commit to one craft... well, that's because I grew up in a household in which my mother the art teacher filled every room with ongoing crafts. But much as I love papier mache, painting and collecting antiquarian books, my heart belongs to textiles.

I learned to knit when I was 8. I began sewing on a machine before my feet reached the pedals. I made a skirt and bolero without a pattern when I was about 14. I can't remember the last time I knitted a solid color anything and I don't understand why anyone would. And no one taught me to crochet; I just winged it.

But I didn't start out as an artist. My career path after college led me to be an ad agency copywriter, then creative director. (If you're a Mad Men fan, that means I was a Peggy Olson and later a Don Draper.) I was a freelance writer with six unpublished novels when September 11 hit. I re-evaluated my life and decided to follow my artistic whims. Life's an Expedition was born in 2003.

That first year, I was weaving handbags. My husband Roger and I were collaborating on the birdhouses he made. My mother Joan would sometimes provide hand knit components of a gift basket. Most of this merchandise went into our art shows. One day, I threw together an odd combination of yarns and listed it on eBay just for laughs. To my surprise, people pounced on it. Within a few months, I was a yarn powerseller.

We've reinvented Life's an Expedition many times as our creative muses changed. Lately, I am exploring multi-fiber scarves created from new and upcycled fabrics, dyes, beads, coins, etc. Roger is contemplating a series of fantasy houses. My mother is finding all sorts of fleece for me to wet felt or spin. And I use many of my own yarn blends in my winter headbands, hats and scarves for men and women. But I'm still perfectly happy to supply you with the raw materials for your own creative expeditions.

Please follow Life's an Expedition on Instagram. We will inspire each other.

Life's an Expedition: Color. Nature. Texture. Culture.

Around the web

Shop members

  • dj runnels

    Designer, Owner, Fiber Artist.

    Writer turned fiber artist. [My About Page tells more about my background.]

  • Roger


    Husband Roger makes birdhouses and stone castles, helps select really cool antiquarian books and is an expert at cramming huge amounts of yarn tightly into a box to save our customers money on shipping.

  • Joan


    Joan sometimes spins, dyes yarn and procures fleece for me.

Shop policies

More information

Last updated on Jun 15, 2017
Frequently asked questions

When and how will my order ship?

We ship within 3-5 business days of CLEARED payment. Paypal clears slightly faster than Etsy Payments. WE SHIP TO ADDRESS YOU PROVIDE IN CHECK-OUT. We use USPS 1st Class mail for orders up to 13 oz, which is most hand knit or sewn goods (5-7 days to arrive)... Priority Mail for orders over 16 oz (2-3 days to arrive)... Media Mail for books (1-2 weeks to arrive). These are estimates. Weather and holidays may cause delays, especially in December. To track Paypal orders, log into PP, select Payments Sent, find Life's an Expedition, click TRACK at right. International: your tracking # will come from an Etsy convo. More info below.

Why does the shipping keep going up when I add yarn to my cart?

If you order from single or double skein listings and your shipping exceeds $13.99--AND if we can fit it into a medium flat rate box (up to16 to 22 yarns)--we rebate excess over $13.99. We process your rebate AFTER you pay, at the time that we pack your order. If you paid by Paypal, you get a rebate in your Paypal account. If you pay in any way other than Paypal, you get a coupon code for future purchases. NOTE: Rebates happen when you pile up your cart 1 or 2 skeins/balls of yarn at a time AND delivery is in the United States. "Destash yarn lots" of 10+ skeins are ALREADY discounted. NO rebates on yarn CONES or yarn CARDS.

Are there rebates for all large orders?

If you order quite a few things, you could get a rebate, depending on what you order, how big the product is, how much the package weighs, whether we offered shipping rates below our actual cost to mail it to you, how far you are from Chicago, how much protective packaging is needed, whether or not it fits in a flat rate box, etc. Lots of variables, eh? That's why we cannot predict combined shipping fees in advance. The rebates are processed at the time of shipping. Over 99% of the rebates we give are for yarn, because that's where we get the largest and most complex orders. But please read the FAQ above this one!

Do you ship to countries outside the US?

Sometimes we include Canada, Australia and/or Europe, but not on every listing and not year-round. (We tend to include Canada in winter because those guys NEED our warmest winter goods.) International buyers are responsible for all customs fees, import taxes and VAT. Life's an Expedition is not responsible for fees or delays due to customs or shipping. We use 1st Class Mail when we can to save you money, but the tracking number won't tell you much and a package may take weeks to arrive, especially if it weighs under 4 lbs. Rebates on shipping might be issued on large orders. We sometimes add or subtract countries from listings, but that happens when we feel WE feel we can handle it, not upon request.

Do you accept returns?

We only accept returns on clothing, as per instructions found in the clothing listings. Follow instructions exactly; we reserve the right to refuse refunds if you don't. If the listing doesn't specify information about returns, read the info carefully and think before ordering, as we do not accept returns on other merchandise. Why? Because no matter how careful you are, it will likely contain fragrance, cigarette smoke or pet hair, even if you're sure it won't. People in our home have severe allergies/asthma and can't handle such things. But if we messed up your order, please send us a calm, polite convo--thru Etsy, not email--within a few days of receipt, without leaving adverse feedback, and we will make things right.

Valuable advice.

Some people just glance at photos and rush to order. Please don't do that. Use the ZOOM under the photo and read listings carefully. If you are tall or plus-sized, don't expect a scarf or handbag strap to look the same on you as it does on our petite model. If you order something 4" wide, don't be shocked if it's 4" wide. No two people see or define color the same way and what you call forest green someone else will call blue-gray. (Yes, I'm serious.) Measure your head before ordering a hat; we test for size and it's in the listing; there's no such thing as one size fits all. Yarn gauges vary depending on how you knit. Softness is subjective; I've known people who made socks out of wool I thought was too coarse for a rug.

Wholesale availability

We don't offer wholesale arrangements, but we sometimes have sale or bulk merchandise that you are welcome to resell in a bricks and mortar shop. Do not list our goods on Etsy, though.

What is my tracking number?

We send a tracking number without you asking. If you misplaced it, look at your order on Etsy. Or, if you paid by Paypal, log in, click on PAYMENTS SENT, find Life's an Expedition and click on TRACK on the far right. USPS sometimes isn't regularly updated...especially near holidays, so expect delays in December. Read the FAQs below this if you are getting impatient. (If you are outside the U.S. and your package is small, we sent you a tracking number via Etsy convo, but your package may take weeks or even a month to arrive, especially if it weighs less than 4 pounds.) And again, there will always be postal delays beyond our control when you order in December.

Is my package lost in the mail?

We ship to the address YOU gave at checkout, so doublecheck that first. But lost? No, it's more likely delayed. USPS tracking information is not comprehensive. Your package could be within a day of reaching you despite minimal tracking data. However, if the tracking # shows delivery, yet you have not seen the package, ask other residents at your address if they brought in the mail, look in the shrubs, etc. In our experience, when a tracking # shows arrival, the package DID arrive but someone forgot to tell you. If inquiries don't pan out, contact your post office and give them the tracking number we gave you. We've shipped over 100,000 packages since 2003 and while some were delayed, almost all arrived eventually. Expect delays in December.

Please change ____ for me.

Sorry. We do not negotiate prices, change listings, add photos, accept alternate payment, change shipping method or break up yarn destashes for you. We ship in the time frame and method stated, but if you order a lot of small merchandise that would ordinarily be shipped first class mail--and your total order exceeds 16 oz.--you are automatically upgraded to USPS Priority Mail. We will also ship a gift to another address without revealing the price you paid, but PLEASE type this other address in the SHIP TO space when you check out.