Monday, December 31, 2007

Marvelous Mondays

Here's a large selection of wonderful colors to start your week off! (And what great canes they'd make!)




My First Treasury on Etsy

I curated my first Treasury today on Etsy. In order to get a Treasury, you have to wait until the lists drop below 333 before you can snag one. I guess I was in the right place at the right time. This is my first so please take a look. My theme is India Nights.


Friday, December 28, 2007

SWEETS on Etsy Follow-Up

As I promised, I would follow up when I purchased and received my licorice caramels that I blogged about on December 20th. They came within a couple days of placing the order (considering we're just coming off of a major holiday, this is some major feat). First of all, one of the things I'm setting as a goal for 2008 is to work on my packaging. It was a pleasant surprise when I opened the box and saw the beautiful wrapping, card and ribbon. Along with it was a little extra she sent me. Two pieces of pecan caramel came in it's own little bag and card. The caramel was quickly inhaled and all that is left is the card. Here's a picture of the licorice caramel candy itself.




I must tell you, my picture of the bag, wrapper and card does not do it justice. First of all, the bag was full. I was really wondering how I would like this candy. I've had to have my husband promise me to hide it from me for a couple days. I could not control myself. So, when I realized I needed it back for a picture, he naively gave it back. I took these shots and took some more candy! What was he thinking???

If you have any reason to buy candy in the future, I give these two thumbs up. Way up! It would make a great gift (teacher, friend, welcome, etc.). They're not your average box of chocolates. They're from Darcy's home and they're from her heart. They're so delicious, I can't say enough! And if you worry about them pulling out your fillings, trust me, I let them melt in my mouth! Savor the flavor!




Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Polymer Clay Jewelry

In the past, I've made megga beads. I'd been wanting to get back to including metal in my work. This month, I started working with sterling disks and such. Here are some pictures of jewelry I had listed on Etsy. Also, I've never done much in the way of "sets". But I do plan on doing more. This is one of the first I've done this year (and it's already December)!





And here's another pair I had fun with. They're just a plain silver crackle but I will be incorporating more of my technique with others to come.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Inspiring Friends Treasury

I was linked to this Treasury the other day on Etsy. What is a Treasury you might ask? It's a pictorial listing of 12 shops that a member of Etsy chooses. This is not a self-promotional tool. One of the Etsy Administration Team Members selects a new Treasury every 3-4 hours. This is the first thing you see on the home page when you log onto Etsy. The person who made the Treasury usually has some kind of theme going whether it be colors, craft, etc. They, in effect, become a curator of Etsy. Below is a treasury that was made by no other than Block Party Press. She's made her mark in the polymer clay world, and now making her way into the curating business! I was thrilled to see I made her Treasury! What a great color palette! (My necklace is 2nd row, middle).


Angry Chicken Gift Labels


I found these gift labels through Etsy I thought I would pass on. They're sentiment is really funny and know I'll be using a few of these for the holidays! Here's one to get you laughing. . .




Marvelous Monday

The week just can't be started without me sending some color for inspiration! I'm a huge fan of sunsets, as my family can attest to, so it was love at first sight!




Friday, December 21, 2007

Mindless Amusement

Every now and then (sometimes more now than then) I tend to get trapped in the internet. Can't find my way out. OK - I swear, this is the absolute last site I'm going to look at. And then my eye catches something else and I can't seem to stop clicking. Lost . . . again. So, misery likes company, right? Thought I'd share a couple amusing sites I stumbled on. Have you ever looked at Jackson Pollak's work and thought "I could do that"? Right . . . well, now you can. On the internet. Go ahead, unleash your inner artist.

The other day I stumbled on this site. I've never seen an interactive site like this before. His name is Luis and he does website design, video production, and music and sound producing. He seems to be a pretty colorful, creative sort of guy. And not to mention his blog is pretty funny. Go ahead - you're only a click away.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

SWEETS on Etsy!


It's a pretty well-known fact that I have a sweet tooth. Okay, a mouth filled with them. So, it's no surprise that this caught my eye on Etsy.

The name of the shop is Darcey's Home. She offers delectable treats from her kitchen. So, you think this is dark chocolate? Think again my friend. Licorice and caramel! Yeah, yeah, yeah, you love them apart, but together? Well, she's really got my curiosity with this one, so I'm going to have to go to her shop and order some . . . I'll keep you posted! Who would have thought by going to Etsy, there would be calories involved?

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Inspiration, Polymer Clay, Lower Food Chain

Do you know what plankton are? Plankton are tiny open-water plants, animals or bacteria. The name, like the word planet, is derived from a Greek root that means, "wanderer." These organisms range in size from microscopic bacteria and plants to larger animals, such as jellyfish. Plankton generally have limited or no swimming ability and are transported through the water by currents and tides. In the Chesapeake Bay, plankton communities serve as a base for the food chain that supports the commercial fisheries. Plankton can be divided into three major size classes: microscopic plants and bacteria, microscopic animals and finally, fish eggs and larvae and pelagic invertebrates.

Why am I talking about plankton? Two reasons. Louise Hibbert and Sarah Parker-Eaton. Louise's inspiration has always been dominated by a fascination with the natural, particularly marine life. Louise uses wood to reproduce and emphasize certain decorative aspects the creatures possess. After each piece is carefully planned, she begins on the lathe and then carving, airbrushed inks, and applied resins are used to create the required effects.














Sarah is inspired by a diverse selection of marine fauna, plankton and fossils. Her jewelery explores the elements that attract her to these creatures such as articulation, surface patterns and form.
















Together, they have collaborated in producing what I think is astounding. If you are a fan of Kathleen Dustin (who isn't?) then you don't want to miss this site. It is sure to inspire you.









Organic forms, color and metal - ah. . . ain't life grand?

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Etsy Sale


Just a quick announcement: I'm having a BOGO sale in my etsy shop - buy one, get one 1/2 off. I also have free priority mail shipping upgrades for orders over $30.00.You can still shop for Christmas, it's only $2.60 more for priority mail shipping on orders under $30.00.

The post office guarantees delivery by Christmas for priority mail orders shipped by the 20th of December. Gotta love the last minute holiday elves!

Monday, December 17, 2007

Marvelous Mondays



Here's a little color and patterns to start your week!



Friday, December 14, 2007

Orno - To Decorate, Honor or Distinguish


That's what this recent architecture graduate had in mind when she created this line of wooden jewelry. Whether it's black walnut, mahogany, purpleheart or zebrawood, this artist uses exotic wood as her starting point. No color is added, only clear varnish to bring out the natural color and grain of the wood. The lines are simple and the look is very modern. She draws from her architecture background by using geometrical patterns in ancient architecture. There's something very sensual about her work. Stop by her shop look at her patterns and shapes. I'm sure you'll enjoy!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Color Inspiration & Quilting

Sewing is something that has never interested me. Funny - because there are so many crafts that I've played with over the years. But never sewing. But - I do love fabrics. Colors, textures, and tons of inspiration are all available with a quick trip to the fabric store. Something did catch my eye the other day in the way of fabric on Etsy. Betty Busby is a quilt artist. I've never been interested in quilting but I do have an appreciation for all the work that is involved. According to the shop home page, she's an award winning fabric artist. I can see why. Her patterns are so unusual. The colors move you through the quilt in an exciting way. I've always been a big fan of batik. There's so much energy and movement in this piece. Looks like you're looking through a kaleidoscope.


But yet look at this other piece - very different, but very beautiful.
Apparently, she hand dyes the fabrics as well. If you have a moment, take a quick stop at her shop. She doesn't have a lot (can you imagine why?) - but what she does have is well worth the time!



Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Free Bead of the Month


This month, the free bead goes to Patricia Gimay. I had fun creating it. I used a right angle from my sheets and created a "patchwork" bead. I've taken a couple shots, hopefully you can see where the other sheet comes in. Tops are capped off with domed sterling end caps and tube riveted in place. Makes for a really nice finish on the bead!

Get Handmade for Free!

I saw on Humblebeads blog that she is offering a free illustration that you can use for gift tag labels. If you go to her blog, you can access the pdf and print it out on Avery (#5160) labels. This also can be printed on Avery #8160 labels. And you can even pass on the holiday cheer. I know I am! She's even written a poem that goes along with the illustration. I'm not sure if it goes to a tune or not - maybe these are the lyrics to a song. She probably has a whole compostion written! This lady is a person of many talents! Does she ever sleep? Heather???



Tuesday, December 11, 2007

More Holiday Gift Ideas

This is another great holiday idea. You'll love this lady's art. She does original mixed media collages and turns them into jewelry, magnets, cards license plate charms and more. These exuberant pieces emanate from the healing, humor and herstory of Allison's unique life experiences. The LadyBirds feature a colorful image on one side, with a quirky, unique, and heartfelt saying on the other. The work is witty and powerful, clearly touching people at a gut level. I saw Allison's work a few years back and was oh so happy to find her on Etsy. Her work is whimsical and artful. Her colors are bold and her positive words of wisdom have been uplifting to all who read them.




Monday, December 10, 2007

Marvelous Mondays

Here's some color to start the week off!



Buy Handmade,New Trick for the Day

I was impressed with this college student's entrepreneurial spirit. Jill is a commerce student who was looking for a laptop case. She felt there was a need to make carrying your computer more convenient that a bulky case and more stylish than just plain black. Through this, Stuffitbag was born. Fashion meets function. Stuffitbag is a custom-designed solution for those who want something more. She has an etsy store and a website. Here's one of her cases.

Every now and then I learn something new with computers. Because a lot of us stay at home and work on our computers as part of our business, our computer skills are left to us. So every now and then I come across a "how to". Today, it's about screenshots. Who knows, maybe you'll find this valuable, maybe not. There's a terrific tool out there on a great site called "Thumbalizr.com." They are a website thumbnail creator. Ever wonder how people take "screenshots" of things off the web? For example, the home page of Etsy has a picture made up of 12 photos from 12 different shops. If you wanted to copy that, go to Thumbalizr.com. Enter etsy.com into the URL. Click on screen (unless you want a picture of the whole web page). Let it thumbalize for a bit. I then clicked on 320-resolution link. A new screen comes up with the screen shot. I then right click and save it as a jpg file with some sort of name. Thumbs. So now I've got it in a file. All I have to do is link to that file. And here it is. Easy. Of course, it could be made bigger so you could actually read it! But you get the idea.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Buy Handmade, Etsy, & From the Studio







Need some holiday cards? Ever take a look at what Etsy has to offer? Here's a woman who has done everything from illustrations to wedding stationery. She adds beautiful elements and textures to her designs. Her artful holiday tags add a nice touch to your gifts.
(Berry Branch now sold!)


And this is a very special card - left blank of course. It is a copper coin paper with a Japanese bamboo leaf paper. (Not to mention inspiration for your polymer clay!) She feels the texture is reminiscent of the pebbles underfoot and on the bed of a clear shallow koi pond. Her shop name is Siska Studio. Check it out - you'll be glad you did!


And here's what's been going on in my studio today. I just listed it in my Etsy shop. I've been tossing some design ideas around and been having the urge to get back to working with metal. I wanted to make a pendant that had the colors of sodalite. Yet done with my "mosaic" technique. Looks like a lot of texture, but smooth as silk! Also, it's not set like a cabachon, but appears as if it is. It's actually framed in sterling. The second picture shows the space between the pendant and the frame better.


Wednesday, December 5, 2007

How to Make Handmade Boxes & Buy Handmade Update

Have you ever struggled with how to package when you ship your items? I know I have on many occassions. I found this great link on Etsy on how to make handmade boxes. I put it on my "To Do List". Lo and behold, I was out shopping today for some holiday presents and noticed a new Michael's store in a new mall. I love going to craft stores, art supply stores, etc. I could so get lost in there! I went to the scrapbooking section and they had these on sale from $14.99 to $9.00 today. They're an 8 x 8 pack of 48 beautiful printed heavyweight paper called "The Rockstar Stack". So, seeing that I sell jewelry, I thought a handmade box would be a nice touch. I was really pleased with the thickness of the paper. And they're coordinating too! And did I mention they turned out to be the perfect size for jewelry. The final size from an 8 x 8 sheet is 3" x 3".


So, onto my Buy Handmade post. I think this would make a great stocking stuffer (or a little something for you). Have a female teenager in the house? God knows we know how they love to look in the mirror! Each mirror is 2-1/4". They're not just the holidays though. "Miss Bella's












Room" sells them for baby shower gifts, grab bags, birthday parties, etc. Or how about a mirror with your logo on it? A little something for that special customer? Or how about some at your booth? Not a bad idea, huh? And mirrors aren't the only thing she puts her original artwork on! Head on over to her Etsy shop and see what's in store!

Buy Handmade

I found another great shop on Etsy! I love this shop! You'll find a number of beautiful graphic prints by Shelli. Her style is fresh and contemporary. Some designs are subtle and others are bold. Whatever the style, she does them with such intent. I'll give you her link, but I just have to fill my blog post with a few (I'll try to limit them) of my favorites. Her shop name is Studio M. I will link the pictures to the pages. But they're selling like crazy, so some of the links may not work!!! Do yourself a favor and go to her store. Read a little bit about Shelli - her bio, her philosophy, etc. I know you'll enjoy the read. I found it very refreshing!