Friday, November 30, 2007

There are still a couple of hours left, so technically it's still Etsy Friday even though it's much later in the day than I planned to write this. It's just been a busy day! There was banana bread baking to be done in the morning (after all, I couldn't just leave my husband to sit here and starve), then off to lunch at Olive Garden with some friends, then grocery shopping, and finally back home to work on Etsy orders.

This week my Quoth the Raven and my Alice in Wonderland creations were all really popular, so I've been kept hopping with orders. I'm so happy that people like them! I have a load of fun making all these things, and I have a bazillion ideas floating around in my head (and committed to my notebook) of more that I want to do.

Anyway... Enough of that! On with Etsy Friday!!! While I did have quite a number of customers this week, there were only a few other Etsy sellers amongst them. So here's a little extra thanks to them.

Kari (aka artsymama) makes these adorable little pixies, but she only has a few of them left! These look like the old timey ornaments that used to adorn Christmas trees, and this one in particular, with her beehive hairdo, looks like she just stepped out of the 60s. How cute!

Colleen (aka cocomo) is a repeat customer, and I'm extra happy when someone comes back to my shop for more! Coco has a shop that's filled to the brim with mosaic supplies, all kinds of dinnerware, tiles, and other things for mosaic artists out there. The absolute neato-coolest thing in her shop is a mosaic guitar, but I really love this little gecko. Don't you know someone who'd love to receive this for Christmas? Hmmm?

Carolyn (aka eccentrictulip) has a shop filled with the most colorful, hilarious, fun, fuzzy, fleecy characters you've ever seen! Just looking at her banner and avatar is fun. It's soooo hard to choose a favorite from amongst these little creatures, but this one named Hmm is unbelievably cute and obviously mechanically inclined!

Looking for some art! Check out Joan's (aka sixsisters) cards, paintings, collages, and ACEOs. While most of her work is immersed in color, my favorite piece is this pen and ink drawing of a Chilean beach. I just love black and white!

Sweet Babu, or Abbie (aka ophelia710) obviously loves babies, and her hat creations make me smile. And when you see a baby sporting a Melody Hat, how could you not just grin from ear to ear?!?!

Rebecca (aka AdobeSol) is a jewelry maker who somehow manages to create beautiful jewelry while taking care of a whole menagerie of pets! Ya gotta love someone who's giving homes to 40 critters! And that's not even counting her immediate family. Once again, it was a real challenge for me to choose a favorite, but these Classy Bling earrings are beautiful.

Monday, November 26, 2007

The news of the day... The voting is open in the Etsy BeadWeavers blog for the entries into the November challenge, Caught in a Net. I was working on one piece for the challenge, but when it went awry I decided to take it all apart and make something completely different from those beads. I then thought I wasn't going to enter the challenge at all, but then Carol Dean (aka SandFibers) suggested that I enter my Twist of Lime necklace. It does qualify as netting, which was the requirement this month, so there it is.

Speaking of Carol Dean, she's doing another drawing this month on her blog. Check it out and win a gorgeous pendant!

Friday, November 23, 2007

Thanksgiving has come and gone, and I almost forgot that today is Friday! I've fully recovered from my turkey coma, even though I just had some leftover cold turkey with mayo a little while ago. Yesterday's dinner was just a simple affair at home, but we had all the requisite foods -- turkey with stuffing and gravy, sweet potatoes with marshmallows, cranberry sauce, and apple pie ala mode for dessert. We sat around like blobs after that!

So anyway, today's Etsy Friday post is once again to thank the Etsy peeps who have purchased from me in the past week. My Alice in Wonderland holiday tags, cards, and stickers were popular this week for some reason; and I have to say I think they're pretty cute. The Quoth the Raven, Ho Ho Ho cards are also going to be flying all over the place this holiday season. I have such a great time creating all these things, and I'm really happy that other people like them so much.

And now for the thanks to the Etsy shop owners who purchased from me this week!

First was Ramona (aka ramonawest), who has a shop that's filled to the brim with vintage clothing and shoes. Sadly, some of the pieces she lists are things that were popular when I was young, but they're making a new appearance in today's fashions. This black velvet swing coat is a gorgeous piece that's ageless!

Sarah (aka alosha) has a whole new stash of ACEO blanks, and she'll obviously put them to good use! She has beautiful artwork in her shop, along with lots of lovely hair adornments. While I like the hair barrettes (even though I have short hair and can't wear any of it), I was drawn to this striking piece of artwork entitled Iron Beauty.

Jan (aka janhilderbrandt) is another talented artist. She paints all kinds of subjects, and she has this beautiful set of 12 sunflower cards so you can share her art with your friends and relatives.

Amy (aka societysedso) creates whimsical and sometimes frightening little creatures from polymer clay. These aren't your everyday clay creations, as she incorporates metal eye hooks into them so they can move. I've always liked red and black together, so this SWAKtopus is my favorite.
Jessica (aka Beadymonkey) has a wonderful assortment of handmade jewelry in her shop. There are so many beautiful pieces in there it was difficult for me to choose a favorite, but once again color helped make the decision. I love amethyst, so this vineyard necklace jumped off the page when I saw it. If you're looking for a gift for someone special this holiday season, you're sure to find something here!

CM (aka sinthesis) has only had her Etsy shop for a few weeks now, but she's sure to become a popular jewelry seller with her metal pieces. They're abstract, unique, and such fun! Just check out this Cosmic Lightning pendant. The color's striking in itself, and the design is so cool.

Kim (aka calamitykim) has sold lots of her whimsical creations, but there's this cute Barnabas Bartholomew Bear pincushion just waiting to be grabbed for a special gift. He's a mixed media piece that would make a neat decoration even if you don't want to stick pins in him.

Jennifer (aka PineBlossoms) creates all sorts of fun things using vintage fabrics. It's so nice to see these beautiful fabrics being upcycled into pillows, bags, and other items that will let them live for decades more. And while all those pillows and bags are such fun, I think this silly chair pincushion is my favorite. What a hoot.

Misty (aka GemmaBeads) shares my drafting/design background, but now she's ventured off into the world of handmade lampwork beads and jewelry items. Yet again I'm drawn to the piece in her shop that features purple. I guess I have a one-color mind, but I just love this Ripe Rainbow Fluorite Bracelet which features a lampwork bead with dazzling colors. The lampwork was made by Debbie, of Glass Houses, but Misty's given it the royal treatment in this bracelet.

Jennifer (aka jenncolestudios) is VERY new to Etsy, having opened shop a mere ten days ago. She only has a few pieces listed in her shop so far, but they are all wonderful! The rings Jenn has listed are different than others I've seen, and they're beautifully photographed. This blue glass ring is soooooo pretty!

Sunday, November 18, 2007

I think I'm just going to have to send all my stuff to Aija to have it photographed. She manages to get the best pictures of the mini envelopes I send her, and then she writes the nicest blog posts about what I send to her! I'm always on the lookout for quirky and interesting books to use for her envelopes. So far I think the Asterix ones were the best, but the last batch, made from a childrens' dictionary and from an old Mother Goose book, were also fun.

I actually wish I'd kept track of just how many of those little envelopes I've made over the past year or so. There were hundreds of map envelopes, more from graphics catalogs, shorthand books, catalogs and magazines, and thousands made from scrapbooking paper of every color and pattern imaginable. Whew!

It's kind of like working on a production line... cut the paper to size, trace the envelope pattern, cut 'em out, fold 'em, and then glue 'em. Sometimes I'll do two or three hundred in one "sitting" because it's just easier that way. Mindless. My husband doesn't much like the sound of the scissors, though... if only I could figure out a way to make them silently.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Etsy Friday's here again, and once again I'm showcasing my favorite items from the shops of the Etsy sellers who made purchases from me during the past week.

Sabrina (aka hippyofdoom) takes shoes that are already fabulous and makes them even more fabulous by decorating them. She doesn't just add a sparkle or something... she adds personality! Check out these Soot Sprite Red Shoes - aren't they great!?!

Arianne (aka HiAnnie) is a repeat customer. I created some custom tags for her shop, and she liked them so much that she came back for more. They really are great tags, made with Arianne's logo, and I'm so happy she liked them! Anyway, Arianne creates absolutely wonderful clothing and accessories - everything from skirts to jewelry to bags and purses, and everything with a great sense of style. This bag, called Childhood is Calling, is one of my favorites. How could you not love those colors!?!
Rachel (aka Arnicae) is another repeat customer, visiting me for a second batch of Captioned Critters mini notecards. Rachel's an artist in her own right, with some great mixed media (pen, ink, watercolor) artwork in her Etsy shop. Check out these pumpkins! Her prices for her original art are unbelievably low, so grab some and give them as gifts!

Angie (aka bonezmama) obviously has a sense of humor and an imagination! Who'd have thought of creating Snow Ninjas?!?! These guys are great. Just be careful where you put them, as you don't want them to beat up the other ornaments on your tree. Now that I think of it, maybe these guys should just have a shelf all their own...

When an artist buys a piece of my artwork, I'm always thrilled. Robin (aka smArtee) has such wonderful artwork in her shop that I was proud that she chose to add my little I'm Batman ACEO to her collection. Robin's colors are sharp and vibrant, she has phenomenal prices on originals and prints, and she even embellishes her prints to add value to them! Check out this funky vase and flowers print.

Brenda (aka beezer) creates fun things (bracelets, bags, and all sorts of goodies) using vintage fabrics and components. She has some wonderfully funky bracelets and cuffs in her shop, but I really like this market tote because it's so colorful and because of the little girls on the fabric - how cute!

This must have been my week for repeat customers, because Alyson (aka TheYoYo) has also visited my shop in the past. Once again, it's nice to know that people like the things I create enough to come back for more! Alyson's shop is full of beautiful handspun and hand-dyed yarn. This Sea Foam handspun art yarn looks good enough to eat!

Dianna (aka bagsnstuff) is a crafter after my own heart. She makes all sorts of things and obviously has a passion for creating. She's obviously a talented crocheter, and amongst all her other creations, I came across something I'd never seen before. Check out this candle drape! Lots of people buy this giant 6" diameter candles, and they do look kind of blah when they're not lit. This takes care of any blah-ness, don't you think?

Amanda (aka amandafenniak) is another great crocheter, and although she has a shop that's brimming with iPod cozies and other crocheted items, I had no trouble at all choosing a favorite! When I was a kid, I used to wear my grandfather's hunting cap -- it was camo green and had earflaps just like this sage green hat in Amanda's shop. It's oh-so-much nicer than that old cap I wore, and I'm sure it's warm and toasty to boot!

Cindy (aka photogoddess) chose a shop name that's indicative of her talent. In a day when digital photography and manipulation seem to be taking over, Cindy creates photos that are works of art; and she uses 35mm film! I love the vintage feel of this one, entitled Enchantment of Venus. She's only been listing her work on Etsy for a few days, so be sure to check her out!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

All Things Handmade. That's what Etsy's all about, but a couple of Etsy sellers (littleputbooks and schOOLLOcker) have taken an extra step and assembled a new blog that features the Etsy minis of people who ask to be included. What's an Etsy mini? It's a tiny gallery view of featured items from an Etsy seller's shop, and it's a great way to showcase special creations.

The All Things Handmade blog makes window shopping so easy because it allows you to look at pictures of items within the categories you select. See something you love? Click the Etsy mini, and poof! - you're in the shop!

More sellers are being added all the time. My shop's in there on Page 2 of the Jewelry / Beaded section; and quite a few of my fellow Etsy BeadWeavers are there already, so if you're looking for beautiful jewelry or beadwoven art to call your own or to give as gifts, there's a huge selection.

So stop reading and go shopping! Just click the picture of the MiniBlog to get started.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

I'd never heard of Holt Howard (even though there's always a large collection of his work on eBay) until a friend of mine sent me a bracelet made with some porcelain (?) discs created back in 1959. Apparently his work is quite popular as there's a price guide for his collectibles! The bracelet was initially assembled with large jumprings joining the discs, but she wanted something different. I thought about it for awhile, staring at these fun little Santa images, and then I decided that they needed to be showcased against a red background.

The result? This beadwoven bracelet. It's bright red seed beads with a border of gold colored matte seed beads, woven in double drop peyote. The Santa discs are attached with little beaded loops, and the bracelet closes with a loop and toggle. I'm pretty happy with it, and now it's off to my friend. I hope she loves it!

Friday, November 09, 2007

I recently signed up on Talent Database as a means of promoting my artwork and beadwoven pieces. When I first signed up there was no real categorization for beadweaving, but after just a couple of weeks and apparently a lot of requests, the admins there decided that there should be a 'Crafts' category. As soon as that happened I recategorized my beadwork so it would appear in the right place.

Well, today I received an email telling me that I'm a featured artist in the Crafts section! Woo hooo! I could spend hours browsing through all the pictures on the database. It's filled with artists of all kinds who create unbelievably fabulous work, so I'm honored to be featured!

Etsy Friday sure comes around fast! I can't believe another week's gone by already. Once again, I'm showcasing my favorite items from the shops of the wonderful Etsy peeps who purchased from me last week. It's just a little bit of extra thanks!

Loraine (aka trawlfortreasures) is new to Etsy, but she's already listed this wonderful baby cake, made from onesies, washcloths, and blankets. This would be a hit at any baby shower!

Adrienne (aka Rawshuga) makes the most adorable primitive dolls! I love this Loretta and Hazel pair because of Loretta's purple hair, but all the dolls are fun and whimsical and obviously have a lot of time and effort put into them. I can't beleve Adrienne lets these little beauties go for only $39!

Vanessa (aka AFancifulTwist) obviously has a vivid imagination. She has a shop filled with prints of her unique artwork, and it was tough to choose a favorite. When I came across Reclaiming My Life, though, it just called out to me... I have a LOT of stuff, way more than would fit in that little bag, but it would be nice to be able to capture it all so easily.

Sarah (aka sweetsparrow) has lots of headbands and hair accessories in her shop, but I have short hair and couldn't even begin to choose one of those! Instead, I picked this Drama Queen Tissue Wrap -- who doesn't need a cool carrier for those tissues we all carry around with us?!

Kelley (aka pendredkeller28) has absolutely gorgeous jewelry, and her photography showcases it wonderfully. In addition to having my favorite number in her shop name (my birthday's on the 28th, and I have a 2 and an 8 in my own shop name), she has a lot of pieces that feature my all-time favorite stone -- amethyst. This amethyst necklace is gorgeous, and she even has matching earrings in her shop!

Marie (aka ItsaLulu) creates one-of-a-kind clothing for little girls, and even though I don't have any children it was fun to choose a favorite from this shop. And of course I had to choose something purple... if only these lavendar corduroy pants came in adult sizes...

Wendy (aka studiogems) creates beautiful jewelry using precious metals and stones. I have to admit that I don't wear very much jewelry, but these pearl and sterling silver earrings would be wonderful for a special occasion.

Brigette (aka weirdbuglady) apparently named her shop in honor of her subject of study - entomology. Now that's someone who really likes bugs! Not only does she have some neat original artwork in her shop, but she has Pocket Monsters! Who couldn't love a pocket monster, especially when it comes in the form of a Purple Pocket Monster Purse?!

Erin (aka cremetangerine) upcycles vintage clothing into unique fashion. It's always nice to find someone who appreciates vintage clothing and who can turn it into something stylish. This Candystriper Tunic Top looks soooo comfortable.

Lorelei (aka lorelei1141) is another jewelry maker, but her pieces are very different than the other sellers featured here. Lorelei makes pieces that are earthy and fun, and she incorporates vintage components into her jewelry so it has a unique look and feel. Check out this wonderful dragonfly pendant, highlighted with all kinds of stones and a vintagey brass chain!

Sunday, November 04, 2007

I don't like to cook. I'd much rather spend my time drawing, beading, reading, messing around on the computer... pretty much anything but cooking. I know how to cook. In fact, I've been known to make fabulous baby back ribs, fried chicken, chili, spaghetti, and a few other things. I just don't want to.

Hence, my husband sometimes goes into the kitchen to fend for himself. I should mention here also that I don't typically eat three meals a day. That's just too much food for me, and if I eat that many meals I feel sluggish. Yes, I know I have weird metabolism.

Today was one of those days when I had absolutely no intention of making anything for lunch. I'd already had my two lattes this morning, accompanied by some banana nut bread that I made yesterday. And before you go thinking that I broke my own 'no cooking' rule by making banana nut bread, I must tell you that it was made only because the bananas were getting brown and yucky, and my husband won't eat brown and yucky bananas. Rather than throw them away, I whipped up a batch of bread.


I wasn't planning to make lunch. But my husband was hungry, so he went into the kitchen to make himself a sandwich. He thinks I should eat something nourishing every once in awhile, so he decided that he'd give me some of his sandwich. Isn't that nice? And then he decided that I needed some other things to accompany my portion of sandwich. Perhaps a pickle. Some pickled beets. A bit of salad. Some potato chips. Maybe some potato salad.

And so was born... my lunch. What a hoot!

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Sometimes I receive a request for a special order, and sometimes the special order turns out to be something so cool that I'm amazed with the results.

I received a convo from Shanna Trim, asking if I could create some Mouthy Moose cards without the envelopes. That's an easy request, so I quoted her a price. As our conversations continued, I offered her the option of having something printed in the Mouthy Moose's caption bubble and another something printed on the inside of the folded mini cards.

And just look at the result! Aren't these cool!?!? They're printed on gorgeous heavyweight linen textured cardstock, and she's going to include them as Thank You cards to her customers. Shanna makes cloth diapers and has them stocked all over the place. If you're in the market for nice, soft, cloth, good-for-the-environment baby diapers, you can find them here.

Friday, November 02, 2007

It's Etsy Friday again, and I have more wonderful customers to showcase!

One of my favorite beadwoven pieces, Fractured Orchid, was purchased by Betsy (aka ZestyB). Betsy's a wonderful jewelry artist in her own right, and I found this gorgeous necklace in her shop. It blends sterling silver and amethyst, which are two of my all-time favorite materials. I love purple anyway, and amethyst is my birthstone, so this one just calls out to me.

Tia (aka HeyLady) purchased a gift for her husband. I hope he likes it! I'm a big fan of the movie Willow, so I thought these cards in Tia's shop were just adorable. I also love that everything in HeyLady's shop is made from recycled photos and paper goods. It's nice to see these pieces receive new life.

Sheryl (aka jecl5) says she's been crocheting for over 30 years, and it's obvious from the variety of pieces in her shop that she enjoys it. Check out this adorable little purse, cradle, and doll set! Oh, to be a kid again... even though I didn't play with dolls very much (such a tomboy), I might have made an exception for this tiny set.

Karen Beth (aka Recy) has purchased from me before, so I was really happy when she came back and requested a special set of Christmas cat stickers. She manages to find all sorts of cool vintage items for her shop. I'm just sure some daring fashionista out there is looking for one of these coin belts!

Stephanie (aka beetlelady) has been amongst my hearted shops on Etsy for awhile now because of her handmade journals. She uses all sorts of things to create the covers -- maps, encyclopedia pages, posters, and other items, but I really like this Aquatic Life Journal made with a poster that came from Thailand.

Jean (aka FettaJeannie) just added some wooly ACEOs to her shop. I've created lots of ACEOs, little 2.5" x 3.5" bits of art, but I've never attempted any made from fiber. This floral fiber art is really pretty, and she has a whole garden of them! They're a bargain, too, at only $10 each.
Linda (aka MosaicSmith) is obviously a talented mosaic artist. I have to say that I've seen some mosaics that just look like someone randomly assembled them from broken bits of glass, but Linda's pieces are beautiful. This black crowned crane obviously has lots of time and energy invested in it, and the result is awesome. Linda's profile says she'll even do custom pieces!
Mary (aka Bearchick) is like me, in that she makes all sorts of different things. It's nice to run across someone who loves creating just as much as I do. She has lots of different treats in her shop, but this blue sequin bracelet just jumps off the page.

Cassie (aka cocokelley) is another Etsyian who finds cool vintage pieces and offers them up in her shop. This Irish linen probably won't last long in there, priced at only $12!