Thursday, December 27, 2007

The Next Edition of Etsy Artists.

Well I hope that everyone had a fabulous Christmas. I am feeling a bit more relaxed now that things have settled down a bit. I will be doing an update on the puppies very soon as I have sold four and have four left. If your in the mood please pray for good homes to come soon lol! I am getting way too attached.

Here is my newest find on Etsy

She is from Newcastle Australia and does some really beautiful work. I can't decide if I like her jewelry better or her photos. Both are beautiful and eye catching. She is the mother of two and as anyone who has kids knows, it can be tough to be a mom and still find time to be creative, much less creative and then sell online to boot. As you can see by the fine pelican photo, she takes gorgeous pictures. However this is not her only talent as you can see by the photo on the left she also makes beautiful jewelry. I happen to know that she is undertaking a new venture and will be listing some beautiful fused glass pendants in the near future so make sure that you check out her shop on etsy soon!

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Featured in Talent Database

I am so excited! I feel like I am truly starting to produce quality jewelry and it is so cool to be recognized! Check out this link

Cast Team Christmas Contest

Okay, so this week I am doing a post on the Cast Teams Christmas contest instead of separate etsy artists because it is close to Christmas and they are having a wonderful Christmas contest you should go and check out. Here are the details.

The words to the carol "Oh Holy Night" will be posted in the CAST Team shop:

with 10 words highlighted. The highlighted words can be found in listings in the participating shops. The words will be in listings found on the first page of the shop. Entrants will send a convo to the Cast Team with the links to the listings containing the words. All correct entries will be eligible for one of several Gift Baskets. Each will consist of items from the cool shops in CAST. One correct entry per person.

Contest will run from Tuesday, Dec. 4th through Tuesday, Dec. 11th. Winners will be notified via convo on the 12th.

Contest is not open to members of CAST

There are some really beautiful prizes and you may find some neat shops that you have never seen before.

You can see some of the prizes on the right of the screen.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Etsy Artists

This week I am featuring two artists who have caught my eye in the forums. (Truth be told that is how I find most of the artists that I like. The posts in the forums also give a good indication as to what kind of person lies behind the art.)

Well I have to say the name threw me for minute as it may throw you. I don't, however, believe there is anything stupid about Kim as her sales speak for themselves. Kim has a degree in fine arts/photography and has a wide range of mediums that she likes to work with. Some of those would be resin, collage and assemblage.
She has a totally unique point of view and if you are looking for something out of the ordinary this is the shop you want to got to.

Michelle has some really cute, funky items in her shop that take me straight back to my childhood. Take this Barbie necklace made with charms that represent everything we love about Barbie. This takes me right back to the bedroom I shared with my little sister and the hours we spent on the floor organizing Barbie's accessories and getting her ready for her dates with Ken.
The Micky Bracelet is just fun. Talk about memories of those Disney vacations and the sheer joy of seeing Micky in person for the first time. Not to mention the great rides! For another taste of childhood fun check out Michelle's shop and forget about being a grown up for just a bit.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Next Round of Etsy Artists

Sorry it took so long, it has been really nuts around my house. (See previous post to see why!). Everyone comes to my house for Thanksgiving also so I need to clean and cook and ..... I have called my daughter off of school tomorrow to help ( she is fourteen). She asked to stay home and help cook and since she is a 4.0 student and has only missed one day I said yes. (and I really need the help). So anyway here are two more of my favorite Etsy artists with some really unique and fun things.


Donna has some really cool vintage items in her shop. I don't know a whole lot about vintage but I keep going back to check and see if she has made any other great finds! Donna has done some selling on the other e site (whose name shall not be mentioned lol!) and has decided that Etsy has some unique features and that she would give it a try. She is also a member of the CASTTEAM (Christian Artist Street Team) and Etsy Believers. Not only does she have super cool items in her shop, she is a great person too. I have never seen a negative post from her in the forums (mind you this can be difficult to do some days!) and she is always encouraging. Check out her shop for some great items!


Joi is originally from Texas and currently in New York with some really unique things. She makes jewelry, sews clothing, makes bags, fuses glass and screen prints cards and fabric. In her spare time. I found her items to be unique and interesting and I have never seen anyone meld acrylic with metal in the way that she does. Very cool! If you are looking for something unique and different and just a little bit quirky then her shop is the one you want to check out!
I also have to mention that she is one of the people who generously shared some information on beginning metal smithing with me that was very helpful and saved me a good bit of time and money in my search for what I needed to get started. Not everyone is willing to take the extra time to help out a beginner. So thanks Joi!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Update on the Puppies 4 weeks old!

I apologize for not updating on the pups sooner but as they grow they become a HUGE amount of work. I spend more time cleaning up newspaper and mopping my floor than I do anything else. (not really true because I spend more time playing with the puppies than cleaning up after them, which means I spend most of my free time on the kitchen floor doing one or the other lol!). Any way they are growing by leaps and bounds and have started eating semi-solid food. This is a real relief for Libby because not only are their tiny claws like razors they now have teeth and are NOT afraid to use them. We have succumbed and named all eight of them. We have Zachariah, Lizzie, Hope, Zeke, Mo, Bluto, Boo, and Alexander. Zeke is still the runt and half the size of his brothers and sisters, but he more than makes up for this with attitude and will cheerfully jump into the pile every time even though he always ends up at the bottom. We have introduced them to chew toys, however they still prefer to chew on each other most of the time. We do frequently pull Zeke out and carry him around when the rest get to rambunctious because despite his attitude he just cannot defend himself all that well from the some of his much bigger brothers. Bluto and Mo are both just BIG puppies but so sweet and cuddly. Hope is the talker, she just is always making noise about something. Boo is just a sweetheart and Alexander is a huge bundle of friendliness. Lizzie is a sweetheart and loves to come over and cuddle and Zachariah will do anything for attention. Needless to say they are all terribly spoiled already. I will have another update soon. From the top left we have Zachariah, Lizzie, Alexander and Hope. Next week I will have individual pics of the other four.

Friday, November 9, 2007

More Etsy Artists

Here is this weeks edition of Etsy Artists. It has been a really busy week for me and I was feeling a bit under the weather (okay I was feeling more than a bit under the weather) so I haven't been able to post as much as I would like. I usually aim for 3 times a week but this week has just gotten away from me. I will be updating on the pups in a couple of days (they are getting BIG and developing personality and teeth lol). I will also be doing the next step in the How to Cut Rocks series. I had to actually go and cut some rocks this week for the next step to be able to take pics of each step and each stone as I go. Not a really fast process I might add.

This artist has some truly beautiful photos and prints. Located in New South Wales, Australia these pictures evoke the beauty of sand and sea. Maybe it is just because I live in the United States but I don't think of Australia necessarily as a place with lots of beaches, I tend to associate Australia with the bush. However these photos have reminded me that Australia does indeed have beautiful beaches and most likely they are not as overpopulated as the ones here in the states.

This artist also has another shop called Bird on a Wire that has the most awesome wire sculpture. I can't even imagine the amount of time it must take to make just one piece. For a little piece of Australia in your home go check this artist out.

Recycled Ideas
I like this particular artist for a variety of reasons. One of them is her commitment to a more green earth. Obviously this is good for all of us. Maybe we should all rethink how we use and throw things away so easily. Another is the fact the she has a passion for primates and is concerned about the fact that their habitat is disappearing rapidly along with the habitat of many other species. You can see that the two go hand in hand. She makes beautiful cards and papers from recycled papers. I had no idea how rich the textures and colors could be from re-using every day items like cereal boxes. She also does the most awesome primate portraits in pastels that are also used in an educational way. For great gifts this holiday season, check out her shop and help us keep our planet green.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Round Four of my Favorite Etsy Artists

Okay so this week I am featuring two artists. One is a jewelry designer and one makes the most incredible bags... Anyway I chose these two not just for the items that they make (although they are well worth checking out) but also because of the way they respond to people in the forums. Always helpful and kind (and honest in a nice way when needed) they just really stand out as good people.

Lucinda makes some really awesome jewelry ( I struggle with posting other jewelry designers on this blog , let's face it, it is competition for me so when I do decide to post a jewelry designer it will be someone I truly admire.) She has some really beautiful designs and quite reasonable prices. She stands out in the forums as well, always willing to help out the new people with good advice and is generally always patient and kind.
I have it on good authority that she has a ton more stuff that she hasn't gotten around to listing yet (although I know she is working hard on it lol) so if you are looking for something in particular just ask her she could very well have it. And if she doesn't I bet she can make it.
What can I say? She has the most awesome collection of bags and I can't wait until I get some spending money. Veronica is from Maine and says that her husband is awesome! That alone gets kudos my book lol. Her bags are fabulous and very well made. They come in a wide variety of colors and styles so there really is no excuse not to buy something from this lovely shop. Vibrant colors and patterns that quite frankly make me drool.

She also has a lovely sense of humor and has posed quite a few thought provoking questions on our etsy forums, always geared at having people take a good look at how to improve their shops to get the most out of what they are selling. I always look forward to hearing what she has to say, I usually learn something that is to my benefit.

Well that 's it for this week. I really hope that you will check these two talented ladies out. You can find the link to their stores on the right under etsy artists.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Update on Puppies

As you can see by the pictures the puppies are doing quite well. They are growing by leaps and bounds. They are about 2 1/2 weeks old now and their eyes are starting to open and they are starting to toddle. Some of them are starting to bark and growl (which is hilarious coming out of something so small!).
As you can see, after eating it is nap time. Pure bliss if you are a puppy in a pile on a pillow! We have finally named them all (okay my fourteen year old daughter named them all) so I will try and take individual pics the next time and let everyone know
their names. As you can see it is hard work taking care of puppies and hard work for the puppies to grow so here is Libby and one of the pups napping together. And yes we spend way too much time loving on these puppies but who can resist warm fuzzy cute things to play with? Will have another update soon.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Edition Three of My Favorite Etsy Artists

Well it's time to check out some more great Etsy artists. The more time I spend in the forums and browsing the treasury, showcase and time machine, the more wonderful work I see. I have a feeling that there are going to many more editions featuring Etsy artists. Here is this weeks list.

Cassandra makes the most beautiful hair ornaments using a Japanese technique called TSUMAMI KANZASHI. Tsumami is the technique of using squares of silk to make flowers, birds or butterflies and is apparently a very old technique. I think the bright colors of the silk and the delicate petals are very unique and charming. These would make a wonderful gift for the holidays so go check her out.

Jared In Kansas
Jared is a multi-talented guy. Not only does he do original drawings and paintings he also takes beautiful photos. (more on those in a minute). I am totally drawn to the simplicity <---and passion and the use of color in these pieces of art. Then there is the photo side of the equation ha ha(read his profile you'll get it) which also rocks. Two sides of the same coin equal some really great talent in both the paint and pencil arena and the photography arena. Definitely worth the look.

Those are my two artists for this week. You can check out there shops by following the links on the right side of my blog. I think I will keep this to two or three artists a week instead of aiming for four or five due to the holidays rapidly approaching. I will have an update on the puppies in the next couple of days.

Monday, October 22, 2007

How To Cut Rocks (Step Two)

The second step to making a cabochon from raw rock is to use a template and decide which portion of the rock you want to use for your finished masterpiece. This particular template is two-sided which I prefer as I like to make my mark on both sides. I then mark a "b" on the side that is the back with a magnesium wire. That way I don't make any mistakes when I am forming the stone. Sometimes the back and the front can be very similar and as much work as goes into forming these cabochons, I don't want to make a mistake on which side I am working on. Templates com in mm sizes and you can also get squares, hearts, crosses and many more. I am still a beginner so I generally use the medium sized oval. At this point it is time to fire up the trim saw. Make sure that you wear safety glasses at all times because I can guarantee small pieces of rocks are going to chip off and go flying. Basically the idea here is to trim as close to your oval (or square or whatever you choose) as possible without going over the line. There are of course rules for using this kind of equipment safely. Cut slabs only, not chunks or nodules, Cut straight lines only, let the saw do the work, forcing the saw tears out the diamonds (this is bad. The blades are expensive). If saw is running dry add oil (duh, but you'd be surprised), If the you see sparks STOP! your pushing too hard or the saw needs more oil. (see rule number three and four). Clean up after yourself. So to the right is a picture of Ohio flint (beautiful rock by the way. As you can see flint is not necessarily all grey). You can see the magnesium template mark and you can also see that I got a hair too close to the line and also managed to ship a corner off. (What can I say it was my first attempt.) I am saving this for when I have practiced a bit more so I can salvage it because this is one beautiful piece of rock. That pretty much covers step number two. I will post again next week on step number three.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Another Edition of Etsy Artists

Well I am a bit behind this week due to the puppies being born. I am quite tired so I haven't got as much done as I would have liked. Anyway, I hope you enjoy the two artists I have picked this week.

I purchased a bar of her vegan soap in a scent called Goddess.
I also purchased a jar of the sugar scrub in the same scents. Can I
tell you how pleased I was!?! It came packaged in a beautiful green box and she sent a sample of another fragrance with the order. The soap is very creamy, smells divine and left my skin feeling super soft. The sugar scrub was also a big hit and I think I am going to have to hide it from my fourteen year old daughter. (or buy her her own lol). Smelled great and between the soap and the scrub I did not have to use any lotion or perfume. Needless to say I will be a repeat customer as finances permit and look forward to trying some more of the scents and goodies in her shop. Pamper someone you love with a gift of hand made soap.


This artists work is on my wish list! She hand paints all of her scarves with watercolors and they are truly wearable works of art. She does go into some detail in her profile as to materials (silk charmeuse) and how she makes these lovely scarves. She also is dedicated to making her scarves affordable for every day people so her prices for this kind of item are quite low. Here's a hint from her profile about washing this type of art! Wash in lukewarm water with shampoo and rinse with creme rinse. She states that silk is an animal fiber and this works the best. I didn't you could wash silk with shampoo and creme rinse and I bet you didn't either! Check out her shop for some really elegant Christmas gifts for that special someone.

Monday, October 15, 2007

The Puppies are Finally Here!

Well, the puppies have finally arrived. Quite frankly I was pretty sure that they were never going to get here! We have a total of eight puppies. Two are blue
merles (the speckled ones) and six are black and tans. We have six boys and two girls. She had the first one at 3:45 am and the last one at about 8:30 am. They are all healthy and doing well.
As you can see Liberty is being a good mommy. We keep the puppies in a box with a heating pad when she is not nursing and cleaning them. Since we have two other dogs and not enough room to just keep them separate this works the best for us. Although Liberty is a pretty laid back dog she has decided that she really doesn't want Blackjack around the babies. (This is actually a bit amusing as he is terrified of the babies and runs whenever we show him one) So he is hiding out under the computer desk at the moment until she calms down a little.
She doesn't seem to have as much of a problem with Ella being around the pups as long as one of us is close by. As you can see Ella is making the acquaintance of one of her siblings. She is very interested and VERY cautious. Fortunately she has had experience with a prior batch of siblings so she is not totally freaked out. Well I will be posting an update on the pups next week and probably every week until they go to their new homes.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

How to Cut Rocks (The first step to making a cabochan)

Okay so I have joined my local lapidary club also know as the Summit County Lapidary and Gem Society. (in conjunction with the Akron Mineral Society they are holding a huge rock and gem show the last weekend in October. If you are in town and interested in this kind of thing you should definitely check it out. Just leave me a comment and I will be happy to give the details. If I have time I will blog the details sometime next week This is in Akron, Ohio)

Anyway I am learning to take the raw form of the rock and turn
it into a finished cabochon. This is what you start out with. Actually first you have to go to the quarry or mine (This one is quartz from a quarry about 20 minutes from my house) and find the stones that you want to use. Be prepared, bring LOTS of water, not only is it hot, thirsty work but you need several bottles of water to squirt on your rocks to get rid of dirt and see what they might look like when they have a shine.

This particular stone on the left is a fossil stone that one of the more experienced rock club members pointed out to me. (Okay he pretty much gave it to me because I would have stepped right over it even with him giving me lots of hints lol!) Any way I am pretty excited about this one and hope to get many good pieces to work with out of it.
So once you have your stones (did I mention how heavy they are to carry back to the car? I ended up with a laundry basket full of them) you need to wash them off and decide which ones to start with. Then it is time to start cutting them up. This is one
of the slabbers at the rock club. Pretty simple to use. You do have to make sure that the rock is clamped down extremely well because it would be a VERY BAD THING if one came loose while being sawed. They have templates that allow you to measure how thick you want each piece (not computerized or anything you hold the template up to the saw and move the rock over to match lol). Any way you set your chain so it stops automatically and you close the lid and turn it on. That's all there is to it. Oh and you want to wear old clothes and a full body vinyl or plastic apron. Did I mention how much oil these machines use? Never, never open the lid until the saw stops spinning! So once it stops spinning and you give it a couple of minutes to let all of the oil drip back down to the bottom (you do this as many times as you need
to slab all of your rock and this is what you end up with. After you
clean the oil off (kitty litter works great for this) and then you wash them thoroughly.
As you can see we still have some work to do to make these slabs of rock into something pretty and interesting to wear. I am going to continue with this next week at some point and show you what the next step is.
Can you see the possibilities?!
P.S No puppies yet. She looks like she is going to explode poor thing. Will update as we go.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

More of My Favorite Etsy Artists

More Etsy Artists!

I ordered a bar of doggy soap from HelloCraftya couple of weeks ago and
LOVED it! Not only was the soap really easy to apply (way better than the liquid shampoo) it smelled great, was really easyto rinse out (I have dogs that have a heavy undercoat so this is a real plus!), but our oldest has skin issues and after using this on him he didn't scratch for a couple of days. (miracles DO happen lol). It also left their coats super soft. I was really pleased with this product and will most definitely purchase more. I will also be purchasing some soap for myself!

I found this shop while I was in the forums (I actually find a lot of really cool shops and people in the forums). I just loved the color and pattern choices that Christie chooses for her pillow covers. Particularly the one on the left. I really like the idea of pillow covers. They are washable and easy to change if you decide to switch color schemes or if you change things out for the holidays.

Lauren makes the most beautiful, elegant and fun hairpieces that I have seen in a long time. Anyone have a wedding coming up? Talk to Lauren, I bet you'll have the most beautiful hair pieces in town. Mardi Gras or Halloween or maybe just a fancy piece for going to the opera or out on the town this is the shop to check out.

Hilary and her husband Asher make the cutest embroidered
t-shirts and onesies for little ones. I believe Asher is responsible for the original artwork and Hilary is responsible for converting the design into the finished, embroidered piece.They have a large selection to choose from and every time I check out their shop I wish mine were still little enough to let me dress them lol! I guess I will just have to wait for grandkids although I have them marked if I need a baby shower gift.