Friday, July 31, 2009

EtsyBloggers Are HOT

Here's some awesome HOT summer items by my AWESOME Etsy Bloggers!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

It's Moving Day!

That's right - I'm moving today! Finally! After a summer of apartment hunting, and then several weeks of packing when my health was good enough, the big day has finally arrived! Our apartment is covered in boxes, my hubby is catching one last nap on the futon (which is on the floor since the frame is disassembled), and I'm enjoying my last few minutes on-line before the insanity begins! Woohoo!

Only sad part about all this? My beads are packed up! *cries* Ok, so I can't complain too much, I have my lovely craft bag packed with a bead weaving project, my cross-stitch, and my crochet :D I'm going to have to be careful to pace myself, so I wanted to make sure I had something to do with my hands when I'm forced to rest.

Seriously though, I will have to be really careful. We're having record breaking heat here right now. I live in the northwest right? We're usually in the 80's this time of year. It's supposed to hit 107 today. So I have to be extra careful to stay hydrated because dehydration triggers my asthma really quickly! I also have high blood pressure issues - and heat is really bad for that!

We did the last of the packing with my Mom last night. We were all working pretty steady - and after the third box I packed I kinda collapsed and fell asleep on the futon. I was apparently all red and blotchy. Moses covered my forehead with a cool cloth and that helped.

So my plan for today is to suck as much water as I can, and sit as often as I can convince myself! I'm not going to be moving any boxes (not allowed to because of my back issues anyway). I'm going to stay at the new apartment with my MIL or Kat (or both) and slowly start unpacking while everyone else does the heavy work.

The internet is going to be connected some time tomorrow. All we know is that it'll be up by 5pm. And by then I may be falling asleep again :P We'll see. So I don't know when you'll see me on-line again. I miss you all already!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Tuesday's Tips #10


Last week on Tuesday's Tips #9 I talked about some different places to find inspiration from other artists in your field. I got some great responses from you guys - so that's what I'm featuring this week! You!

Glorybe1024 said: Searching around Etsy is great inspiration. Often I will see a color combination or item that "speaks" to me. Usually, I will think that if I added this or changed that it would be really cool. I never want to imitate, I just try and make it my own in some way. (Glory is an artist in many mediums and in her shop, Lucky Lady Bug Designs, you'll find crocheted items, key fobs, jewelry, and more!)

Merily said: I tend to avoid looking too hard at things in my field because I don't like my style to be influenced, even if it was subconsciously by me having seen something in passing (same thing when I used to write- I refused to read LotR parodies when I was writing one years ago). I mean, I'll still sometimes look around just out of curiosity at other art to see all the pretties, but I try not to pay too close attention to it if it's something I do.
I do love all my Etsy teams and Artfire guilds, though! I definitely get inspiration from them (especially the ones that run challenges), and it's so helpful to be around people who share your interests. :) (Merily is crochet, clay, and jewelry artist with a passion for fantasy. You can find her work on artfire at MeriGreenLeaf.)

Bead and Button
Lapidary Journal bead and jewelry catalogs Somerset Studio books from the library for my dyed and painted clothing, inspiration comes from the world of nature around me
(Splendid Little Stars also works in a variety of different mediums. On her blog you'll see her stunning photography, at Sparkly Park you can find her jewelry, and at Splendid Little Stars you will find her fabric work!)

Silver Parrot said: Lately I've been taking pictures of "nature" (the beach, butterflies, insects, flowers, etc.) and using them for inspiration. Nature is not shy about mixing color and yet they always seem to "work." (Silver Parrot is a jewelry artist who's work definitely reflects that love of color!)

Julie Antinucci said: You asked, so my favorite magazines are The Quilter and American Patchwork And Quilting (a Better Homes and Garden Mag). Both of these have things each month that have modern fabric and modern patterns, none of that dark and depressing fabric that I don't like. (You can find a variety of fun fabric items in her shop Creative Mines).

MemoriesforLifeScrabooks said: You're so right. You can admire work of other in your field and take from them...but create something totally your own :) (You can find awesome scrapbooks in her shop - which is now on Artfire!

StoryBeader said: I love looking at the etsy bead weavers. Some of my favorite jewelry artists are in that team! {:-D (At Story Beader you'll find a variety of beautiful jewelry - each with it's own haiku!)

Patchfirstshop said: Always get inspirations from Wedding Magazines.. I love to see the wedding gowns and think about what design of jewelry to match those dresses. (And it certainly shows in the lovely jewelry you'll find at Patch First Shop!)

Stay tuned for next weeks tips - I have an interview lined up for you guys that I think you'll love!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Sale Item of the Week - Patriotic Woven Bracelet!

This fun bracelet was hand woven, bead by bead! Have fun wowing your friends with it's beautiful sparkle, and showing your pride in your country at the same time :)

This bracelet is approximately 7 inches long. I can make it to fit any size wrist, but please account for approximately one to two weeks time for custom orders, thank you!

On sale this week only for $40 plus $2 shipping and handling - and I'll ship to anywhere in the world!


Sunday, July 26, 2009

Crafty ADD Update #1

I had so much fun with my post last week "Queen of the Crafty ADD" that I decided I want to make it a regular feature!

To start off...I want to show a knitting project that I've been working on all summer! Ok, so I haven't worked on it in at least a month... See I didn't know how to cast off and that's how long it took for Mom and I to manage to get together for her to show me! I could have just looked it up on-line but I figured since this has been a "Mommy and Me" thing that I'd wait until she could show me. The scarf isn't done - but it's done for now. I want to add fringe and I'm trying to decide if I want to bead the fringe I'm putting it aside. I did look at some beads while at the store the other day, but I didn't find any that were right for this scarf. So until I do...or until I decide to go for straight fringe...it's put away in the bin!

Oh yes, and this is my second knitting project ever :D I'll do another knitting project after I'm done with my current crochet project. I only want to have one yarn project at a time. I do try to limit ADD-ness a just a wee bit!


Speaking of crochet projects - I've come a long ways since last week! I've been taking to this like a duck to water :D The current plan is to do 15 squares in each color and then I'll lay them all out and decide how I want the pattern to look and figure out if I need any more of any of the colors. I have the first color done and I started on the second one - a lighter green :)
I finished up the second penquin on my bookmark this week and started in on the third! I've worked on it just about every day this week...which is a big difference from before. I had been going through a big down period when it came to cross-stitch, and now I'm back and kicking!


There is NO WAY I could update you on all my jewelry projects during the week. Besides, you get to see my stuff in other posts through out the week! But it wouldn't be a true ADD update if I didn't show you what's currently in the works! I usually have at least one bead weaving project going at all times and today is no exception. I'm working a bracelet in brick-stitch. The pattern is actually stolen from a cross-stitch book that had a bunch of edging patterns. I thought it looked cool so now it's going to be a bracelet!


We'll see how much I get done this next week with moving. It could go either way. I might get a ton done as I'm forcing my self to relax inbetween spurts of packing and then unpacking...or I may get very little crafting done. You'll find out next week!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Look at these Pretties!

Not much to say today. I've been packing and crafting and packing and crafting... My mono-pod has been missing all week so I haven't been able to take new pictures. So I've got a LOT of new things for you guys to see soon! I did have a few things to re-list and a few things I had pictures already of that got listed though! Which is your favorite?

Friday, July 24, 2009

Friday's Featured Artist - Spirit Essence Art

This weeks artist is a gal with not only incredibly talent - but a huge heart! Arlene of Spirit Essence Art has been a huge encouragement to me, and I hope that you love her art work as much as I do!
1. What type of art work do you do?

Right now, I am a painter using watercolors and oils. I also enjoy creating pages in my art journal, which sometimes in which I use paints, collage techniques, and the use of markers, pens, and a bit of stamping.

2. How did you get started doing art work?

I started doing crafts many years ago, from macramé to pottery, and stained glass. I even had my own brick and mortar stained glass supply and gift shop for several years. It was during this period that I decided to take a drawing class, so I would feel more secure about drawing up my own custom designed stained glass patterns for clients. The class I took was divided into two sections. The first section, that I was in, consisted of people taking the drawing course. The second one had the students that were taking painting.

I learned a lot about drawing, though I was intrigued with what the painting students were doing and I kept walking over to the easels to see what those people were doing. The following semester, I signed up for the class again, but this time signed up for the painting segment! That’s how I learned to paint with oil paints, and I have loved painting ever since. This past year I have been teaching myself the use of watercolors, and am fascinated with how different they are from oils.

3. Do you do any other crafts?

Well, I still have all my stained glass gear and am actually teaching beginning stained glass at the local community college. I also have spent years creating glass treasures by fusing it in glass kilns, including jewelry and other, larger art pieces. I am not doing any new glass creating these days, though I still have a lot of pieces that I created last year, and that are in my Artfire shop.

4. What's your favorite piece in your shop right now?

Of the glass pieces, I would say it is my Rainbow Border Square Glass Bowl because I just love the spectrum of clear colors or the Red Starfish Dichroic Glass Pendant because of the sparkly glass in it and the starfish is a special symbol to me.

Of the paintings in my shop, my favorite one is my Underworld Fantasy Watercolor because it was so free and spontaneous, and I love the colors in it.

5. Where do you sell your work?

Right now I only have a shop on Artfire.com though I am looking for more venues for my paintings, especially ones that will offer the possibility of prints. http://www.artfire.com/users/SpiritEssenceArt


6. Do you blog?

Yes I do! I love to blog now, though it was difficult at first for me to post regularly, since I couldn’t conceive in the past that anyone would be interested in what I was doing. Now, I especially like to post in my blog since I am creating so often, to share what I have created as well as any of my “process” – both my internal process and some of how and what I use to create the paintings. I realized that I just love reading others’ blogs with this kind of information, so I want to share my own so others might also enjoy what I am learning and experiencing. For me it is a way to reach out to others and share myself, something that I am making more of an effort to do lately. For anyone who is interested, my blog is http://www.SpiritEssenceArt.com and I love to have new viewers as well as comments.


7. Are you on any social networks you'd like to share?

Yes I am: I am on Twitter (www.twitter.com/arlenemh), Facebook (www.facebook.com/arlenemh), Plurk (www.plurk.com/spiritessenceart) and a few other smaller networks.


8. Do you watch or listen to anything while you work? If so, what?

Sometimes I listen to music while I work, often some New Age kind of music or motivational music, but more often than not, I love the silence of my studio and enjoy just hearing the birds singing or my own thoughts in my head.


9. Tell us one random fact about your self *wink*

Though I am a US citizen, I lived for 10 years in New Zealand and am a permanent resident there. I went there because I had met and fell in love with my husband at an international spiritual / personal growth retreat in Australia, and he was from there. I went to join him in the South Island of New Zealand where he lived, and we were married there eventually. They were wonderful years and I grew a lot as an individual and loved the natural surroundings and lovely people there.



Thursday, July 23, 2009

The Radio-a-thon Starts Tomorrow!

I know I've talked a bunch about 48 for Larry - and I'm not going to stop! The Radio-a-thon starts tomorrow at 6pm EST. This is truly a worthy cause guys - and the silent auction portion is coming together wonderfully! There are currently 16 pages of items to bid on! You can even start bidding now if you want - but nothing will be updated until the radio-a-thon starts. I thought I'd share with you just a few of the wonderful items being auctioned off. And believe me, it was hard to choose!

Of course I have to show off the Necklace I donated :)
Retail Value: $40
Minimum starting bid: $4


I don't know how she does these...
Retail Value: $10
Minimum Starting Bid: $1


I love Butterfly's!
Retail Value: $24.00
Minimum Starting bid: $2.40


Look at all these goodies!
Retail Price: $393.49
Minimum Starting Bid: $39.34


Ok - ya'll know I can't resist purple...
Retail Price: $8.50
Minimum Starting Bid: $0.85


Isn't this just too precious for words?
Retail Price: $65
Minimum Starting Bid: $6.50


I tried not to feature too much jewelry -
but these are from my friend Meri :D
Retail Price: $14.00
Minimum Starting Bid: $1.40


I HAVE this bracelet :D
Retail: $15.00
Minimum Starting Bid: $1.50

So what are you waiting for? Go check out the rest of the auction!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Loving the Bead Mats :)

I've seen bead mats around for awhile, but for some reason I never had a desire to use them. After all, I already had my own system, why should I mess with it? I finally picked one up about a month ago (it's cheap after all) just to experiment with...and I'm in love!

Why? Well, because my beads don't go everywhere any more! Ok, they still do to a degree, but no where near as bad as they did before. Plus, I was able to use it to augment my normal system!

What is my normal system? I have these little round plastic trays that I get at Craft Warehouse periodically when going through their bargain bins of beads. My seed beads go in there. Sometimes larger beads too depending on the project. Once I have my beads pulled out for the project I put them in front of my laptop, turn on a something from hulu.com, and bead away!

Now here's where the bead mat comes in. I slip it so it's half under my laptop (don't feel like cutting it up) and then I put my trays on top of it. Pointless you say? Not at all. I'm GOOD at jostling my trays and having the beads fly out! Now the mat catches them and clean up proceeds much quicker. :D I've also found less beads in my keyboard of late...

There's been an unexpected bonus too. With all my health problems I have to take a bunch of pills and vitamins. So in the mornings when I take my pills I spread them out on my bead mat, and they don't roll around everywhere! Nice 'eh?

I'm thinking I want to pick up some cheap trays at the Dollar Store or a thrift store and line them with bead mats. Then I can lay out projects and stack them if I want. One of the problems I encountered when I did my "Set Me Free" free form Peyote bracelet was that the only tray I had to lay them out on was way too huge! I have some other ideas that will also involve using a wide variety of beads and having a tray like that would be really helpful.

This, of course, is a project for AFTER my move :P Or should I say series of projects?

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Tuesday's Tips #9


We've been talking the last few weeks about inspiration. Today I want to look at one place you can find inspiration - other artists in your field.

Note of Caution: They say there is nothing new under the sun and the imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. Both statements have truth to them, however, you need to be aware of copy write laws and how they affect your field of art. While being inspired and learning from other artists is fine, you don't want to steal their hard work!

Ok, on to cheerier thoughts!

I LOVE to look at the work of other jewelry artists. Often I just look and drool. After all, there are many forms of jewelry that I can never attempt. For instance, anything that involves a lot of fumes (like resin) is off limits because of my severe asthma. That doesn't mean I can't admire and be inspired by their work! Here's some places I go to look at other jewelry artists work - I think you'll find you can translate this to your particular field of art :)

Teams:
I'm on several teams and they all contain fellow jewelry artists. The one I gain the most inspiration from though is my Etsy Bead Weavers team because the team is very focused on that medium! The other teams are great - but their focus is different and so it doesn't provide as many challenges or as much inspiration for the art side of things. If your not on a team specific to your medium I'd highly encourage it!

Books:
I just got done going through the book "500 Beaded Objects: New Dimensions in Contemporary Beadwork" and I was utterly floored by the possibilities out there! Sometimes looking through the work of the masters can be humbling, but I found it both challenging and encouraging as I see how much I have left to learn! I also got some new ideas :)

Magazines:
I regularly read Bead and Button and even sometimes Jewelry Artist. Now this is an area you need to be careful. You can learn a LOT, but you don't want to recreate their patterns for sale without first getting the permission of the artist who created it. Sometimes they will be willing to let you, other times they won't. You can make the patterns for yourself (and you'll often learn a lot!) but don't ever sell them without permission.

There are many other places you can view artists work in your field, browsing the various selling venues for instance, but these are some of my favorites!

I'd love to hear from you guys. What are your favorite magazines, books, or teams in YOUR field? I'll compile a list from what you tell me and post it for next weeks Tips :D Let's help each other!

Monday, July 20, 2009

48 for Larry, CIJS, and New stuff :)

48 for Larry

It seems like my Monday posts are getting to be quite the smorgasboard! I want to start off by reminding you about 48 for Larry - the radioathon and silent auction coming up July 24th -26th. Check out the all the info on the Block Head Radio Page, and you can start viewing the auction items now!

CIJS
I'm not going to change up my weekly special this week - so check it out on the right hand side - you have another week to get the sale price! I do want to remind you about my Christmas in July Sales though :) Everything is 20% at Kindred Spirit Treasures and Rose Works on Artfire. And I have a sale section at Rose Works on Etsy!

Promoting...Me!
I've continued to be a busy little beaver. I think my new planner that I created for myself is really helping me to stay focused on getting a certain number of things done each day. Which means I'm getting lots of listing done! Check out these 9 new or relisted items, tell me which is your favorite, and get an extra entry into my Top Commentators Contest!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Queen of the Crafty ADD

I've told you before that I'm very Crafty ADD. I jump from project to project to project... Anyway - I thought I'd prove it to you guys :P This is what I've been working on the last two days!

What you see above is a hemp bracelet and a beadwoven St. Petersburg Bracelet. I started the bracelet a couple days ago, but I wove about half of it in the last two days. Not that it's a project that takes me very long, I just picked it up for 15 minutes here, and 15 minutes there!

I've also been working on a lot of hemp lately. I have a bunch in my box to take photos of! Things have just been to busy for me to get the photos taken yet though. That and I haven't been feeling that good today. Ok, really not feeling good today. I've spent most of the day watching Star Gate and crafting :D

Mom started teaching me to crochet yesterday! The picture above is of granny squares. I did the first one and started the second one with Mom yesterday, finished the second one last night, and did the third this morning! I'm going to make a baby blanket :D There are going to be 4 more colors in it. Not sure how I'm going to arrange them, just making a bunch of squares and then I'll play with laying them out and see how the inspiration strikes me.

And for anyone getting excited, no, I'm not pregnant :P I'll donate this when it's done. Probably to the Pregnancy Resource Center. It's a local organization that provides free pregnancy tests and provides counseling on the many options out there other than abortion.

Over the last 6 months or so I've started always having a cross-stitch project going. This is the current one! It's going to be a bookmark of dancing penquins. It'll be awhile before it shows up in the shop though. I tend to work on it like crazy for awhile, and then not pick it up at all for awhile :P Plus I'll probably fit 4 bookmarks on the fabric before I cut it up... Anyway, I sewed half of the penquin outline today!

So what's next? Well...I need to make some more strand bracelets to take into my consignment shop...but since that requires moving the bead boxes and stuff around so I can decide on patterns that will probably wait for tomorrow. My asthma's acting up today and I'm doing fine as long a I sit still, but that would probably be too much movement. So I think I'll crochet another granny square and try to decide what my next beadweaving project should be.....

Just a reminder - it's Christmas in July! Follow the links below to check it the sales :)

Friday, July 17, 2009

Friday's Featured Artist - Miesmama

I'd like to introduce you all to Becky of Miesmama! Becky is one of my Etsy Blogger team mates (and the featured blogger this month!) and she is not only a talented artist, she also has a sweet spirit that radiates through her every interaction! I have one of her felt flowers (like the purple one shown below) on one of my purses and I simply love it!

1. What type of art work do you do?

I do fiber art, mostly with felt, it's a medium that makes me extremely happy - I love looking at fiber arts, maybe it's because it's so tactile, I don't know!


2. How did you get started doing art work?

I guess I've done it all my life, you start out so creative when you're a child, when I watch my children drawing, or paiting, I wish I could get a little of that freedom back! I also went to college for a while, doing textile arts.


3. Do you do any other crafts?

A couple of years ago, I joined a knitting group run by a dear friend, and she taught us how to knit, it had been something I was yearning to do, and now i love it, it's so relaxing, and yet productive at the same time!


4. What's your favorite piece in your shop right now?

Oooh that's hard, you become so invested in all of them! I think it's my "tree fern clutch bag" though, it embodies what my style is well I think, felted and full of nature! Though, I'm loving the fun and versatility of my felt flowers.


5. Where do you sell your work?

At the moment, it's only at Etsy. I would love to do art and craft fairs, but finding the time is hard at the moment, with two children and their many summer plans.

6. Do you blog?

Yes, and what a lovely world that is to be in, full of warm, friendly, supportive and like-minded people. http://www.miesmama.blogspot.com


7. Are you on any social networks you'd like to share?

I'm on Twitter, and probably soon Facebook. But I really love Flickr, does that count as a social network?, it can so inspirational, and a great place for feedback.


8. Do you watch or listen to anything while you work? If so, what?

Both, all my work lends itself well to multi-tasking, it can be anything - lately, I love listening to Wilco, Feist, Innocence Mission and Sigur Ros. TV mostly is Doctor Who, Primeval, and Torchwood on BBC America, and I can't wait for the new season of Lost, I'm totally addicted!


9. Tell us one random fact about your self *wink*

I'm addicted to all things Japanese and Kawaii, and I swap a lot on Swap-Bot, if you're ready for a new addiction go and check it out, there are swaps for everyone!

Come Join the Party!

I found out about this awesome blog party while I was working my way through my blog list. (Side note: I'm waaaay behind on visiting blogs, if I haven't visited your recently it's not your fault, it's mine!) Anyway, I've been thinking and writing about inspiration a lot lately, so this blog party really excites me! I'm copying all the info for you so you can join in on the fun :D I may have to look into joining this team...

♥Theme: "5 Degrees of Inspiration"

♥Date: August 1st, 2009

♥What to Do:
*Sign up for the blog party by leaving a comment on the original post - your blog and link will be added to our growing list on the sidebar of our blog. (be sure to include a link and the name of your blog in your comment)
*Grab our party images and details, then write about it on your own blog. Be sure to post the smaller badge on your sidebar linking back to this posting. (sidebar badge and link are posted below...)
*Join us on the date of the party by writing your own blog posting about the 5 things that inspire you the most. Feel free to post photos too - we love eye candy!
*Visit the other participating blogs from the list on our sidebar and enjoy! It'll be such fun discovering what inspires each of us!

♥Prizes:
We're hosting 2 wonderful prizes!
*The first is a fabulous collection of work from our team members and will be awarded to one of the participating blogs so be sure to sign up before August 1st! (A photo of the prize package is coming soon so keep checking back!)
*The second prize will be awarded to one of the visitors who leaves a comment on our blog posting the day of the party. This will be a $20 gift certificate to our team shop.

We look forward to seeing you then and reading about the wonderful things that inspire you!

Sidebar Blog Badge:


Thursday, July 16, 2009

It's Christmas in July!

That's right - it's a Christmas in July sale! A bunch of the Etsy bloggers are particpating - and I'm one of them! In Kindred Spirit Treasures you'll find ALL item marked down 20%!!! Over at Rose Works Jewelry you'll find a sale section with items marked down 20%!!! Want to see what the Bloggers are doing? Head on over to our SALE thread and see what other great offers you can find!!!

What's that? You want more great deals??? You got it! I'm also doing a sale over in Rose Works Jewelry on Artfire - the entire shop is marked down 20%!!! Why didn't I do that on Etsy you ask? Because Artfire makes it easy :P

I've also been a listing/promoting FREAK this last week - so I have more new items to show you! Which is your favorite? Tell me and earn extra entries in the Top Commentators contest!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Item of the Week, Faceoff, and Latest Items!

Item of the Week

This lovely set was created after I was randomly looking through some Peruvian Ceramic Beads. I saw these beautiful blue fairy's and had to have! Mix in some seed beads and tiny sapphire colored crystals, and you have a beautiful set of jewelry for a beautiful lady out there, somewhere, waiting to buy it :) Earrings are approximately 1 3/4 inches long. The necklace is approximately 17 1/2 inches long with the pendant measuring another 3/4's of an inch.



It's on sale this week for only $16 plus $2 shipping and handling!





FACEOFF

Over at Blockhead Radio we're always doing new things! This week we started something called the FACEOFF. What is that? Well, the hosts and staff each go out and find an awesome item, we put them up on the radio's page, and you come vote for your favorite! So why am I telling you this? I want you go vote! See the lovely item above? It's by a team mate of mine - Beads Forever - and it needs your votes! So go VOTE!

My Stuff
Here's the latest items in my shops! Which one is YOUR favorite? Tell me which one and why and you'll get an extra entry into my Top Commentators contest!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Tuesday's Tips #8


Sorry I missed last week's Tuesday's Tips guys! Life's just been insane! But I'm back on track...at least with this one post. *wink*

I want to continue talking about inspiration, but before I do any more of my own talking, I thought I'd share some of the responses I got to the last post about inspiriation. Now maybe I'm cheating to quote all of you - but I found the variety of responses intriquing! Don't worry, I promise I'll actually do some of my own writing next week.

Memories for life Scrapbooks said: "I've gotten lots of ideas from my customers. When they ask for custom albums...my mind gets to wandering as to how I can market a new kind of custom album. I'm making one with pockets right now...how cool is that :)" (and you can see it featured at the top of this post!)

Story Beader said: "you have blogs on your list, but also the internet at large (photographs, artists, nature, etc.)" (Great reminder - thanks!)

Beaded Tail said: "I get inspiration from many sources but it's often hard for me to figure out how to do what I want to do since my mind doesn't think creatively. I have an idea for beadwoven earrings but don't even know how to begin - do you give lessons? :D" (Why yes, I do :) Not sure how that would work over the internet though :P And I happen to think she's quite creative from looking at her shop!)

Mama's Little Monkeys said: "I find the items that are inspired by something are FAR more fun to make than just some THING. THe monkeys have personality and are formed as they go. I mean I see the sock print, but WHO they will become remains to be seen! :) I also name my flower pens based on friends who inspire me! (www.fleurdeink.com)
I also am inspired by the fabrics! Certain fabrics inspire certain projects..plusi just love fabric.. " (Believe me, this lady has more ideas than she knows what to do with most days!)

Nomadcreationsetc said: "Conversations are where we get most of our inspiration. Whether if it is from customers, each other, our kids, our dogs or from the check out lady at the store our inspiration is from a ton of conversations."
(I personally think that's an awesome way to find inspiration!)

Leather Made Nice said: "I guess I am one of those folks whom receives inspiration through dreams. I am artistic but unimaginative - go figure!" (I find inspiration through my dreams some times too.)

Unique Commodities said: "I get inspiration from a lot of different things... an outfit,a color I see, an animal, LOL lots of stuff" (Sounds a lot like me!)

Splendid Little Stars said: "I like to look at patterns, such as the play of light through leaves, or the pattern light makes on a wall or ceiling, or reflections of light through water. Perhaps the pattern is something like metal grill work. On my recent vacation I saw lots of these. I love looking at flowers and their amazing patterns." (And this lady has an amazing eye for detail - her photos are stunning! I tend to look at patterns too for some of my bead weaving.)

The Eclectic Element said: "I'm one who can find inspiration anywhere like you.
Especially different looking beads, random pieces of junk jewelry, etc. It's weird, I will look at it and all of a sudden see a totally different thing in my mind-It's like it creates itself in my mind before I realize what's happening!" (You'd be amazed at how much this artist and I have in common :P)





Sunday, July 12, 2009

48 for Larry


Larry is the man behind Chelsea Lynn Designs - and not only is he a wonderful artist - he's got one of the biggest hearts I've ever known in anyone! He's the type of guy who's never met a person he doesn't like, and he's always been a huge encouragement to me. I did an interview with him awhile ago if you want to read it :)

One of the things that Larry and I connected on right away was dealing with extreme health problems. We have different issues that we face, but we both struggle every day with our health. His health problems are a lot worse though.

Right now Larry is facing just having lost his health insurance, having monthly prescription bills of over $2000, and needing a surgery to keep him alive.

So we're having a fund raiser to help him out! I've donated the necklace below to the auction - and we're doing a 48 hour radioathon! To get all the details - Go here - 48 for Larry.

Looky!

I've been busy listing and relisting over the last few days :D Tell me which is your favorite (and why!) and you'll earn and EXTRA entry into my Top Commentators Contest!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

In another Treasury!

Huge thanks to Edi of MemoriesForLife for featuring me in her treasury!
My Inara's Cuff is in the top right :)

Friday, July 10, 2009

Friday's Featured Artist - LiberTeas

I first met LiberTeas because of the Pacific Northwest Guild on Artfire...and then we became friends on Plurk! I'm a bad team mate - and I had completely forgotten where I'd met her until I started putting this post together - and realized we live in the same town! How fun is that? We'll have to do tea at some point :)

1. How did you get started making tea?

I started out as a tea drinker, really. I fell in love with a particular blend of chocolate tea that was available at a small antique shop in Orange, CA. When they went out of business, they took their tea with them, and I tried to find another chocolate tea to replace it with, but all the chocolate teas that I found were not quite what I was looking for. So, I figured, how hard could it be to flavor and blend teas myself? Boy, was I in for a big surprise.

After a couple of years of trying and failing, I gave up for a while. Then a couple of years later, I gave it another earnest try, and after about a year finally came up with a flavor that I liked! My Chocolate Rose Romance tea is the fruit of that particular labor, it has gone through many transitions over the last 7 years, but, I think I've finally created the blend I set out to create. It's very rich and decadent and very chocolate-y, just like the blend that I remember from the antique shop in Orange, CA.

2. What do you think is most challenging about making and selling tea?

The most challenging part for me, is absolutely the marketing aspect. I have learned the hard way that if you make it, they won't come unless you let them know it's there... and even then, they don't always come! I'm much more the artist, and not much of a business person, and not very good at all with the marketing/advertising aspect of the business.

3. Do you do any other crafts?

Yes. I'm an altered artist and mixed media artist, as well as an occasional zinester. Some of my collages can be found here: http://eccentricpastiche.artfire.com

4. What's your favorite tea in your shop right now?

Well, there will always be a special place in my heart for my Chocolate Rose Romance, for obvious reasons! Honestly, I love all of my teas, because I really create my teas for my own palate, if I like it, I'll sell it... I don't carry anything that I won't drink myself. Lately, I've been drinking a lot of my Green Apple Tea though, I think because it's really good iced!!!

5. Where do you sell your work?

I have several venues where I sell:
I sell at artfire: http://liberteas.artfire.com


6. Do you blog?

I do, sadly, I haven't updated in a while, but intend to get back to blogging often!!! I have a tea journal: http://liberteas.blogspot.com and an art journal: http://eccentricpastiche.blogspot.com In addition, I do reviews of tea (not my own! Hey, what can I say, I love tea!) for the tea review blog: http://teareviewblog.com

7. Are you on any social networks you'd like to share?

I am on Plurk and Twitter as Liberteas. I am just building a facebook page for Liberteas, and I all I really have done at this point is reserve the name for it! Same is true for MySpace.

8. Do you watch or listen to anything while you work? If so, what?

I am usually just listening to whatever anyone else in my family is watching or listening to... I have 2 daughters, one of them is usually either listening to music or watching TV.

9. Tell us one random fact about your self *wink*
I'm a paper junkie. I am totally addicted to paper! I go nuts when I go to a paper store like Paper Zone or Paper Source. My family think I'm completely crazy and are totally embarrassed because I'm walking around in a daze, gently massaging all the paper, and drooling like Homer Simpson with a donut. I don't know exactly what it is about paper... but I love it!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Here Comes the Bride - Voting Time!

It's time once again to vote in the Etsy Bead Weavers monthly challenge! I didn't end up entering anything in this one. I had several ideas, but there's just been so much going on in life that I wasn't really able to pull them together to make what I wanted, so I decided not to stress about it. There are TONS of incredible entries though for you to go look at! So go vote!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

I've been Tagged Again!

Thanks to Gallery32 for tagging me! I'm in a random mood tonight - so I'm actually filling this one out :) I'm not passing it on though - but if you like it fill it out ok!

10 Things About Me:
1. I'm a hopelessly addicted Sci-fi and Fantasy Fan
2. When I don't blog, I feel sad :(
3. I probably read at least 4 books a week.
4. I'm a compulsive over achiever.
5. If I'm beading/crafting I'm probably watching something on Hulu.com
6. Because of my health problems I have more friends on line right now than in the real world.
7. I love being outdoors, but the outdoors and my lungs don't always get along.
8. I love coffee!
9. I love chocolate!
10. I'm on a diet so I have to be careful of the last two :P

Trying to Catch Up

There's a degree where it's simply not possible for me to catch up! I'm doing the best I can though - and I know you all will forgive me for my usual posting schedule getting all messy like this week - because your the most awesome blog followers ever!

On top of life being busy - I hurt my shoulder. *rolls eyes* So I was already scrambling a little bit to juggle everything, and then I had to go and make it hurt to type, carry anything, or even stand for long periods of time! Argh! Fortunately I'm healing quickly :) Which is why I'm typing this!

As a result I'm leaving up last weeks featured item (look to the right) - and there will be no Tuesday's Tips this week - but it should be back next week!

I was in a treasury! It's closed now because I'm behind - but I still want to show it off and say a big thanks to PruittDesign for featuring my hemp bracelet!

I also got some new things listed or relisted over the weekend - and never got a chance to show them off to you guys! Remember - comment on which of these 9 items is your favorite (and why!) - and you get an extra entry into my Top Commentators Contest! Don't know why I'm talking about? Look at my right side bar for more details :)

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

A Photo Tag!

Meghan of Little Studio Photography and Jewelry tagged me! I'm supposed to show you the 10th photo in my first folder. Now the problem with that is I have two sets of picture folders. One for my jewelry and one for the rest of life! So which do I pick? I decided to go with both :D So you get two photos for the price of one today!

This shot is of the display by my friend "Breath of the Dragon" at a craft fair we both participated in last year in Ellensburg. She does some incredible work - I have one of her magnets on my fridge!

This next shot is my family. Gordon (middle brother), Hubby, Me, Dad, and Mom! This was Easter dinner :) My youngest brother is overseas so he's not in the picture.



Saturday, July 4, 2009

I Cleaned!

Ok - before I forget! Happy 4th of July! I hope you have a great day and have lots of fun! We're hoping to go hang out with my evil twin tonight if I'm feeling good enough!

So last night I got ambitious and decided to clean! Now if I was smart I would have taken a "before" picture. But I wasn't smart. I wasn't thinking about blogging when I started cleaning. Just about cleaning!

My work space is a table that I share with my hubby for our computers, and then a card table next to it with all my beady stuff. I do try to put things away when I'm done with them, I really do, but I'm, um, very distractable. Especially when I have new ideas! (which is most of the time) So things tend to pile up and every once in awhile I'm forced to make myself clean so that I can keep working without completely losing my mind (which is mostly gone to begin with).

Part of the problem with my work space was that I had stuff that I do need to have around, and I do use, but there was really no place to put it. So it was just piled up on the table, and I tried to work around it. Well, I realized that I do have drawers I cold put them into, I just had to get rid of the junk that was in the drawers!

Did I mention I'm also a compulsive hoarder? I'm getting better since I've moved so many times in the last year, but it's still hard to get rid of anything that I could possibly find a use for. And since I'm such a creative person, I can think of ideas for just about anything! But last night I cleaned out a couple of drawers and reorganized so I could the mess in them. Ok, so honestly, some of it got shuffled to a box to that went in the closet, but I DID get rid of some stuff!

Next I cleaned off my workspace. I started that project last night, but ran out of energy so I finished it this morning. That meant putting things in the drawers I cleaned out last night, and putting away the detritus from many recent projects! Especially cleaning off my planning board.

My planning board is actually what started all of this. I have a custom order that I can't do with out laying it out - and my board was covered in the remains of old projects and pieces I want to use in upcoming projects! That's all taken care of now. Not only is my planning board clean (completely for once), but I can also see my desk! I even took a Lisol wipe to the top of it to clean off the dust and spare beads :)

Want to see my beady collection? I just have a few... 18 boxes of beads and 3 of findings and pendants...

Can you believe I'd love to have MORE??? I'm addicted...

And because this post wouldn't be complete with out showing off my lap top (his name is Jack)! See the blue in front of it? That's a bead mat. Yes, I generally bead in front of my laptop. It gets shifted around so I can work, but most of it takes place right here folks!





Friday, July 3, 2009

An Award and a Contest to tell you about!

My friend Kayla over at The Eclectic Element game me this humane award - thank you so much Kayla! I'm not passing it on tonight because quite frankly, I'm TIRED, but I feel very honored to have won it :)

Kayla's doing a blog giveaway right now! She's a wonderful person who does wonderful work - you should go check it out :D She's giving away something very similar to this bracelet: