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Monday, February 28, 2011
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Saturday, February 26, 2011
Friday, February 25, 2011
Here's a great giveaway by Keswick and Country Giveaway
She is giving away this gorgeous necklace from Armelle Jewelry ,
here's Her Etsy Store
AND.....the 2nd Great Giveaway....is this awesome book (which I am actually trying very hard not to covet...very bad to covet things)... It's filled to the brim with amazing photography of Prairie Style homes all across the country.
I am in llllloooovvveeee with Prairie Style decor, I've actually made my first etsy treasury title, "PRAIRIE STYLE...my way #1" (check out my treasuries along the right sidebar of my blog).
The giveway comes to you via the CabbagesandRoses blog...
So, if you're interested, (seriously, how could you not be)...just go their blogs to find out the details, let them know that I sent you...and definitely let me know if you win, so I can ooh & ahhh with you :)
Thursday, February 24, 2011
Wednesday, February 23, 2011
Gennifer, proprietress of sage and mage
1. What is life like at your house? (husband, pets, children, etc)
Cramped! I live with my dad and my beautiful cat Luna in a tiny two-bedroom apartment in the inner suburbs of Melbourne, Australia. I moved into dad’s place about a year ago when chronic illnesses I had developed became a bit hard to manage on my own and I had to leave my jobs. My bedroom has boxes piled up to the ceiling with fibres and yarns, and books climb the walls in precariously teetering stacks that are taller than me. I have slowly taken over the lounge room with my art and perfumes, and the kitchen with my creams, herbs and scrubs. Every cupboard, shelf, and wardrobe has become a storage space for my supplies. Luna provides me with lots of entertainment and in return I worship her and bend to her every whim.
2. What is your morning routine?
I usually get up before 5am. I love being up to see the light change and I feel I am getting as much out of my day as I can. I write my ‘morning pages’, (see Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way). I meditate or do Reiki (for myself and others) for 20 minutes and then head straight to the kettle for a coffee. Responding to email and packaging up parcels are always on the morning agenda but it changes day-to-day according to what physical condition I’m in when I get up. I’ve never been good at routines in any case - I like to think of myself as bohemian (a kinder way of describing a difficulty with schedules) and I get distracted by shiny objects.
3. What hobbies do you enjoy?
I am currently exploring painting, sculpting and drawing. The visual arts have been calling to me for a while and the process of experimenting has been very cathartic. I love creating altars. Little impermanent tableaus of scent and stone that fill me with peace. Chocolate appreciation is an extremely well-developed hobby of mine; I am practically professional. I also adore stationery, ribbons and paper packaging, in which I indulge happily when I wrap my Etsy orders. And reading.
4. How did you become a designer?
I always had a pencil or some beads in my hand growing up. My mum gave me some cowrie shell beads when I was 2 and my passion for beads was ignited. I saved up my pocket money for months when I was 7 to buy my first set of 72 Derwent pencils (which I still use). In my mid twenties, after I finished 9 years of university in totally unrelated fields, all I wanted to do was have a handmade jewelry business. I did do this and enjoyed the creative process immensely. I didn’t enjoy the selling part because I was shy and underconfident and in the end that was why I chose to stop doing it. It took me another five years, two or three ‘serious career’ jobs (during which time I stopped creating entirely) and subsequent illness to realise that I couldn’t not create; that I had to make it a way of being rather than just doing if I was to be happy or heal.
I stumbled across Etsy looking online for handmade envelopes, had wonderful experiences with those first sellers I purchased from, and I eventually started making things to sell. My previous professional and educational background was in music performance, book editing and writing, and I wanted to use the skills I gained during that time to better support my creative output. I knew selling online involved descriptive, honest content, and the necessity for your creations to ‘perform’ through the computer screen. Etsy seemed like a good place to start.
5. How did you start your etsy business?
Sage and Mage began as a hobby, and still is to a large degree, blending teas and perfumes for family and friends. I have always had an interest in aromatherapy and the healing arts. When I first became ill I began what would become years of continuing study into herbal and vibrational medicine and spiritual philosophy. I had a strong urge to share what I was finding out - and I really wanted to send pretty parcels of love out into the world!
6. How does your creative process work…(where do you find inspiration?)
It’s quite intuitive and sometimes I don’t really know where my inspiration comes from. I feel as if it isn’t ‘me’ making things, but rather a lovely creative energy flowing through me. I read widely and I’ll often be inspired to make a scent based on a line of a poem I’ve read, a song lyric or a motivational phrase that has moved me. Or I’ll have a particular person in mind and create something for them. Usually though, it is from the materials themselves. I have hundreds of essential oils in my collection and I will sometimes sit and open bottle after bottle, feeling what they each yearn to be blended with. I love colour –all colours – and how they affect my mood, and so if I’m feeling in a ‘green’ mood, I’ll play with some green beads or stones until a necklace comes to life in my hands. I’ll sit with a piece of clay or a paintbrush or silk fibres in my hands and move them around until something tangible emerges.
7. What one thing do you keep close to you at all times?
I would say Luna but she usually doesn’t let me! I have a silver necklace with handmade charms on it that is a reminder for me to try to have clarity (a crystal), courage (a lion) and conviction (Joan of Arc), and it never comes off.
8. Since starting your etsy store, what one thing are you most proud of?My Etsy feedback. It is also what I am most humbled by. I have met so many amazing people though Etsy and I am filled with gratitude every day.
9. What is one thing you would do differently (in your etsy business)
There are a few things… I have to admit that making a profit so I could be self-supportive would be pretty high up there! But mostly, I’d get help. Even though I am delighted and quite proud that I do every aspect of Sage and Mage myself, I’d rather be able to pay someone to do labeling, marketing and shipping so I could spend more time creating. One day I will. Soon I hope!
10. Is there anything new you have an idea for or are currently working on to add to your etsy store in the future?
More of everything! I have quite literally thousands of ideas - my journal’s overflowing - that just need a time and space to manifest. More perfumes, including a custom perfume service, a line of candles for meditation, spiritual aromatherapy and more tailored skin care. I do have three new Etsy shops in the pipeline. One will be launched in the next couple of months – Altar and Mantle – as an outlet for my visual art. The others may be in the background for a while, but they will still be simmering away quietly.
11. Mickey Mouse or Bugs Bunny? (why)
12. Handmade vs Manufactured (your thoughts)
13. What is one piece of advice you'd give to other women who are fortunate not to have to work outside the home?
etsy shop listing
--Being kind to yourself is really important.
--Process is just as vital to our happiness – if not more so – than product. In the same way, loving what we do (whatever it is) can be as satisfying as doing what we love.
--Creativity is as natural and inherent in all of us as breathing. The process strikes me as very similar too -inspiration and expression are akin to inhaling and exhaling
--It is ok to just breathe.
I found Gennifer on Etsy while looking for a skin oil to help with dry skin patches, "let's call it a skin issue". When I came across her shop and browsed through her items, what impressed me the most (besides the gorgeously photographed items and inspiring descriptions), was that she was willing to work with me AND educate me on ingredients (their healing and restorative qualities)...and help me choose what would work best for me! Custom order--I looovvvveee custom!!!!!!!!!!
After getting to know to her a little through our etsy convos, I just knew I had to have her for a guest interview, and lucky for me, she agreed. After reading her answers, I just fell in "friendship love" with her. I also lllooovvveee to hear Aussie's talk,, their accent just makes them seem so down to earth (although I have yet to hear her accent).
Isn't her cat, Luna, beautiful???!!! (She says that Luna of course, knows this), just like a cat...ya just gotta love their arrogance.
So be sure to go check out her etsy shop by clicking on any of the links highlighted above, let her know you found her through me, then come back and let me know what you think!!!
Tuesday, February 22, 2011
The treasury named Close enough to daydream was curated by
Jennifer of palimpsestic
"Thank You Jennifer!!!"
For some reason I thought palimpsestic was a member of Team Awesome, the same team I'm on, but I was wrong, we are soooo going to need to recruit her as she makes some amazing treasuries!
As I stated the first time my blanket made it onto the front page...this is a "HUGE, STUPENDOUS, MEGA HONOR". And I can tell you now from experience (I promise the fame is not going to my head--yet), it's just as BIG this time as well!!!
Sunday, February 20, 2011
Introducing a brand new blog! Lilies and Dandelions is authored by Briana of San Diego and her new blog is a must see if you like beautiful interiors. She also offers homemade recipes for cleaning products that I'm sure smell heavenlyyyyy....and other diy projects.
She was inspired to start blogging after following the Dreamy Whites blog. To really get her new blog started off right, she is offering a SUPER Dreamy, RH Giveaway.
Your package will include:
from Dreamy Whites Online Shop
1~ 10" x 12 1/2" bag filled with 3/4 pound of dried organic lavender, which can be used to refill your sachets
6~ 3"x 4" lavender dryer sachets
1 bundle of dried organic lavender
Saturday, February 19, 2011
Handmade fabric coasters
by Merry of
Merry makes beautiful coasters, sewing machine covers, aprons and super-great list takers. She is also the team leader AND the etsy member that invited me to join the team. (Thank You Merry!)
If you want to view the treasuries made by a particular etsy shop, you just go to that shop, click on their "profile" and you'll find any treauries they've made at the bottom of the page. You'll also see any teams they are members of, favorite shops and individual items they've marked as favorites.
If you'd like to be involved with an etsy team, simply go to the teams homepage and request to join.
So far I'm having fun looking at the other team members shops and items! Be sure to let me know what you think of the treasuries...
Thursday, February 17, 2011
Brown Cross with Silver Heart (i love this cross)
What are some of your favorite scriptures?
Wednesday, February 16, 2011
Tuesday, February 15, 2011
The Liebster Blog award is given to bring new blogs to light. It's a great way to share blogs that might not otherwise be seen or ones you want to share with others.
I am so honored that you thought of me Nikki and I am truly enjoying our new online friendship.
As a recipient of this award I must share the love and pay it forward by:
1-Creating a post where you blog about the Liebster award & reveal your 3-5 blog picks
2-Let them know you chose them
3-Copy & paste the blog award on your blog
4-Have faith that your followers will rally & show their crafty love back out to those you awarded
This is a HUGE, STUPENDOUS, GARGANTUAN honor for me and I hope you will check out the blogs that I've nominated and personally love to browse everyday.
There are so many truly awesome blogs out there, that it was really difficult for me to choose which ones to recommend...but here they are:
1) Jennifer at Keswick and Country has beautiful photography of inspirational decorating ideas (she's awful pretty herself), and she offers a few tutorials (I always love those). Truly magazine worthy.
2) I found Dreamy Whites while watching The Nate Show...she lives on a horse ranch, has 5 kids AND WHITE SLIPCOVERS!!! She was sharing her tips about how to live with white furniture. I PROMISE you'll love her blog.
3) Thrifty Decor Chick has so many diy (do-it-yourself) projects on her blog, that I have yet to view them all, but have really learned a lot from her.
4) I loveeeeeeeee Rosemary at The Summer Porch her blog is all about what she does with herbs from herbal soaps and teas to decorating with herbs.
To be honest, ALL these blogs have gorgeous photography and they are worth looking at just for the pics, but I have no doubt you'll find more than you could have imagined if you just take a moment and go browse!!! Then be sure and come back to let me know what you think of them...
Monday, February 14, 2011
As God's number 1 priority is Love, I thought it only appropriate to post my number one, all-time favorite scripture. For me it is the perfect Valentine love poem.
Love is patient, love is kind.
It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.
It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.
Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.
It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
Love never fails…
And now these three remain: faith, hope and love.
But the greatest of these is love.
1 Corinthians 13:4-5, 13.
Sunday, February 13, 2011
So, on my needles today, err actually my crochet hook, is this circle afghan. I'm using an acrylic yarn from Lion Brand Homespun so that it will be machine washable (you can't imagine how hard it is to hand wash a large blanket...or maybe you can). Normally, I prefer good quality natural fibers and don't like using acrylic yarn, but in certain cases like this and some baby items I do make an exception.
This is my first time working a circle pattern, but I'm finding it really fun except for when the hook keeps catching little strands of the yarn it's not supposed to (sooo not fun when that happens).
Afghans take me quite a while to make as I only work on them a couple hours at a time and then I have to switch to a different project so may hands don't cramp up. I'll be sure to post pics of the finished project...then it will either go into my etsy store or become a gift to give someone.
So what projects are you working on?
Thursday, February 10, 2011
In her etsy shop, Nikki offers a wide selection of truly beautiful handmade greetings cards (she also takes special requests!)...She offers a superior quality product at a very reasonable price. I personally ordered my Thank You cards from her along with a few birthday cards, and was thrilled with her craftsmanship when they arrived. I will definitely be one of her many repeat customers.
1) what is life like at your house? (husband, pets, children)
2) what is your morning routine?
I usually wake at 6 a.m. and get my children off to school. Afterwards, I head to the gym, then it’s home to create. (and sometimes clean) I take the weekends off from the gym and find that the mornings are my most creative time of the day for me! Once I get going, sometimes I find it’s well after lunchtime before I come up for air!
3) what hobbies do you enjoy?
I love stamping and scrapbooking (although I don’t scrapbook nearly enough) but I also really enjoy reading and bird watching.
4) How did you become a designer?
I started out scrapbooking, about 11 years ago as a way to preserve my children's photographs. About 4 years later I progressed into stamping. I was literally dragged to a Stampin’ Up! workshop, thinking it was a huge waste of time, and ended up loving it! Embossing got me hooked and now I rarely create a card without some sort of embossing incorporated into it.
5) How did you become involved with Etsy?
I first started selling my cards, with a lot of persuasion from my husband, at a little consignment shop in Ft Benning GA. I was so surprised when they did so well. I had a hard time keeping them in stock sometimes! When we moved to Ft Campbell, KY I soon discovered that there was no such shop here so I decided to start up an Etsy shop and hope for the best! It’s been a slow start but business does seem to be picking up for me.
6) How does your creative process work...(where do you find inspiration)
I find inspiration from many different things. I absolutely love sketches (patterns to follow to make cards and scrapbook pages)....they really make a card go together quickly and I tend to use a lot of them. Thank goodness for all the fabulous blogs out there that always have some sort of sketch challenge going on. I also use designer paper as a starting point. Sometimes I find inspirations from pictures in magazines or even clothing patterns. I love it when someone has a special request, and describes what they want....I really can get creative with just an idea.
7) What one thing do you keep close to you at all times?
If I’m out and about, hands down that would be my cell phone. If I’m at my craft desk, then definitely my laptop, craft ink and embossing powder. Those are a must!
8) Since starting your Etsy store, what one thing are you most proud of?
Honestly....it would have to be my return customers. I love knowing that they were satisfied enough with their purchases that they are coming back for more!
9) What is one thing you would do differently (in your Etsy business)
I’m not sure if it’s is something I would do differently....but I’d love to take more special request! I love to build off of other’s ideas and create something truly unique to the individual.
10)Is there anything new you have an idea for or are currently working on that you are planning to add to your store in the future?
I have recently done a few scrapbooks that I was so happy to post but I’m also thinking of creating single 12x12 pages in the future. I would also love to create more 3-D projects with intentions of being great for gifts or party favors.
11) Mickey Mouse or Bugs Bunny? (why)
Hands down Bugs Bunny. I have such fond memories of watching Bugs Bunny growing up with my father. The cartoon always made him laugh and I love to hear my Dad laugh. Besides...who wouldn’t love a smart alecky bunny who always gets his way?!
12) Handmade vs Manufactured? (your thoughts)
This one is a tough one....I love handmade when it comes to cards, albums, blankets, gifts (especially from my children) ....but there are some manufactured items that make my life easier. For instance...embellishments, designer paper ect....
13) what is one piece of advice you would give to women who are fortunate not to have to work outside the home?
Confidence is a must...I’m still trying to sap into mine sometimes....and definitely try to limit your distractions! The computer can be a big distraction for me and a real time zapper! Overall though, just enjoy yourself. If you don’t love what your doing, then what is the point?
I do know that before I started selling my cards, I used to say (when people asked what I did)....most proudly, and trying to portray confidence...I’m a domestic engineer....LOL I always stressed how important it was for me to be home for the kids so they grow up to be responsible adults....and I do really feel that way. I also have the utmost respect for working Moms so I stress this is just my opinion and I’m so lucky that I was able to stay home.
and check out her blog as well (she's won tons of blogging awards)
Then, come on back here and let everyone know what you think of her cards!
Wednesday, February 9, 2011
This is my newest creation! I've made my own patterns in knitting and crochet, but usually pretty basic stitches. This was my first time just adding and changing as I went, so I was practically jumping up and down as I was finishing it....it turned waaaayyyyy better than I had imagined. I'm learning that the creative process works two ways for me...
1) like pushing a boulder uphill...the ideas don't flow very well, and every one that I come up with just does not work and I end up ripping out lots of started projects.
2) rolling down a mountain...the ideas bombard me continueously, coming one right after the other, and they won't leave me alone until I write them down or start a project with one.
As you can imagine, I prefer #2. The Romantic Cowl started as #1 that turned into #2, (for some reason these numbers have reminded to get rid of some of my morning dr. pepper)
About the cowl: It's made of a fluffy, super duper soft alpaca blend yarn, very chunky, in the softest pastel true pink...I started with rows of chains, then just started attaching them willy-nilly until I saw the design starting to form, then I just went with it. Just when I thought I was finished, I realized, it needed something else, so I started adding the fringe which is a combination of the same yarn and creamy white merino wool strands....still needs something...ah, a flower (I plan to do more flowers!)....okay, it's almost there, but still needs something....(snapping fingers) a BUTTON! I started digging through my grandmother's button tin that I had just recently borrowed from my mom, and wouldn't you know it, a PERFECT button. Creamy white, with touches of silver and a rhinestone in the center. The size was just PERFECT.
Oh, I'll definitely be making more, but as the pattern is in my head, no two will ever be the same, the ideas are already churning in my head, they are... light-weight in spring colors, with spring flowers attached or maybe a shawl instead...we'll see what comes.
Another thing I'm really excited about is the new series I'm planning to start soon...I'll be interviewing and spotlighting my absolute FAVORITE etsy sellers and their shops. The best things about buying handmade items are the high quality AND supporting our neighbors! So I thought it would help to get to know more about them.
BondGirlCreations26 etsy shop
I ordered my shop Thank You cards from Nikki at BondGirlCreations26 and the quality is simply the best I've ever seen in greeting cards, not to mention, her prices are cheaper than what I would spend at Wal-Mart, so not only did I order the thank you's, I also purchased a few birthday cards for gifts. I loved everything and Nikki was the first person I approached about interviewing, I really think you are going to want to get to know her!
sage and mage etsy shop
After reading the feedback from sage and mage etsy shop, I contacted Gennifer (shop owner) about some problem spots I've developed with my skin this winter (periomenopause?) who knows, anywho, she is mixing up something specifically for what I'm dealing with and just from what I've read in her feedback, I really think I'm going to like it....I'll keep you posted.
Still not sure whether this will be a weekly posting or bi-weekly, or just when I find someone special to feature...we'll just have to see. One thing I do know, I will only feature artists that I PERSONALLY have purchased from or tried their items and have a deep appreciation for what they are creating!
Tuesday, February 8, 2011
And there is nothing I like better about football than a close game where both teams are really dukin' it out, back and forth, one is up, one is down, so the playoffs are definitely among my favorite things. Along with the anticipation of the Superbowl TV ads....what are they gonna think of this year to entertain us.
Anyone that knows me, knows how much I HATE television commercials, that's why we have a DVR, so I can tape whatever I plan to watch, and watch it later while zipping right through the commercials at super-duper high speed. I will not watch live TV, that's how much I hate them. For the most part I think they are just plain stupid and it never ceases to amaze me that people actually get paid to come up with that stuff!
This does not apply to the superbowl ads...why can't they make them like that the rest of the year?! I don't necessarily like all of them, but I do enjoy watching them and deciding which ones I like best. So here's a few of my favs...
the e*trade babies are always cute so I had to include a pic, but the commercial was just plain boring to me.
I really loved the chevy truck commercial in which the truck is "Lassie"
And I'm sorry, but I thought Joan Rivers was hysterical in the GoDaddy spot (why do I feel the need to apologize for that?)
All of the VW commercials had my attention but the top spot HAS to go the "tiny Darth Vader"...tooo cute!!! This one has my vote for the "BEST of SUPERBOWL 45"
Bridgestone Tires and the Beaver "pay it forward", great message right along with an entertaining ad
Was really entertained by the Chevy Camaro "Mom"
Go to this site to see all the commercials if you missed any
But I gotta tell ya, that I am a HUGE, MEGA, action movie fan, so I am REALLY looking forward to all the great movies advertised as coming out this year, so many that at least look to be great. The one I'm looking the most forward to has got to be Cowboys and Aliens featuring Harrison Ford....really LOVE Harrison Ford and have sooo been hoping to see him in more "Indiana Jones" type action movies...this one might not be "Indy", but it looks similar, so yeah, I can hardly wait!
If you missed any of the trailers, check out this site..
So are you a fan, did you watch this year, and what were your favs?
Friday, February 4, 2011
sage and mage etsy shop