Friday, December 5, 2008

Airplanes

Red airplane knobs by knobs

My yearly frustration with airline ticket prices has set in for this year. Gas prices are down...way down from their high this past summer. So why is it that when I want to go visit my family on the East coast prices of airline tickets have skyrocketed higher than they were when gas prices were orbiting the moon? Couldn't possibly be that I want to visit my family during the busiest time of year. Say...Christmas perhaps. Whatever.
Flying High by teaforbini

I think airlines should take into consideration what we actually ask of them for what they make us pay. I mean, it's not like I am trying to get transportation to the moon. It's only half way...well, ok...ALL the way across the country that I want to go. But come on. That's a far cry from the moon. It's not like I expect to be fed on the plane, either. They can hold the peanuts. And it's not even like they have to transport any of my luggage or anything. I will take a carry on only thank-you-very-much.

Plane patch by stiksel

And it's not like the airline is expected to pay for my parking, nor my dog boarding...so the way I figure, the price breakdown for an airline ticket should be as follows:

$650 (price per ticket that they're trying to charge me)
-$400 (for not having to take me to the moon)
-$20 (for not consuming any food - not even peanuts)
-$100 (for two suitcases I am not taking - just a carry-on for me)
-$14.50 (two days worth of parking at the airport)
-$400 (10 days worth of dog boarding)
______

+$284.50 is what the airline owes me for picking them to fly on. Priceless.

I'll let you know how my argument works out for me at the airport ticket counter, but you probably shouldn't hold your breath.

I can dream can't I?

GO airplane by hemgoods

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Hearts & Urchins


I am doing a quick fly by today. Not really writing a lot. Getting so busy! I'm surprised my head isn't falling off. It's been jerked so many different ways in the last few weeks. Anyways, just wanted to share some of the beautiful pieces of art that I acquired from some of my fellow Etsians. I recently photographed a few of these pieces on an old trunk I bought at an antique store a few months ago that I am using as a coffee table. I think the rusty, dusty and antique look of the trunk really show off the lovely, smooth lines of the ceramics. And the contrast of the soft leather of the trunk and the "spiky-ness" of the urchin bowls is amazing. What can I say, sometimes I really have a flair for the dramatic. Here are some pics. By the way, you really really really need to check out my friends at Etsy that make these gorgeous pieces. The urchin bowl is from elementclaystudio.
The shopowner & artist, Heather Knight, is not only an amazing artist, but she is very professional and warm person. I had seen these urchin bowls the minute I first layed eyes on Etsy and I just knew I had to have them. They are just wonderful. Their spikes' "dangerous" look is so beautifully contrasted with the softness of the bowl itself! Don't take my word for it. Buy one (or two, or twenty) here. The balloon heart was from bridgemanstudios and I thought it was one of the most lovely ways to depict a broken heart. Jim, the shopowner and artist, was extremely nice when I asked him for a custom order. Unfortunately, by the time I went to make my purchase of the heart I wanted, it was gone. Jim went out of his way to help me with my request. And all the while, he was super nice even though he had just put in some major time at a large show he did that week-end. Do you want your very own broken heart? Well...ok, bad choice of words, but check out Jim's hearts here.

And voila! That's my post! Longer than I thought, but then I do tend to ramble...

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Mea culpa, Mea culpa, Mea maxima culpa


Ok, so I haven't blogged in a while. And I feel guilty about it. I really do. The thing is...it's not like I don't have anything to blog about. So many exciting things have been happening with all of my shops: natuure, coffeemonkey, twoangelsinparis !!! The problem is that there's one in particular that I just can't share. No! Really! I can't. To protect the innocent. Me? No, I'm not innocent...but I've been staying away from the blog so that I wouldn't tempt myself to say anything about it. And yeah...truly... I can't share. I wouldn't want to get myself into any trouble. Go ahead, convo me and tell me how bad you want to know. I maaaaaay tell you, but you might have to share a secret of your own. And I won't take just any old secret. It's got to be a juicy one. I don't trade secrets about any old thing. Come on, you gotta make it good. And I won't tell anyone. Well, maybe my blog, but no one else will have to know. Here's a secret that I CAN share. Introducing one of my very favorite soap companies on Etsy. Introducing...Annie's Powder Room by Anniepoo. Yeah, super cute name huh? Well, Annie wanted to feature some Etsy artists on her blog so I jumped at the chance when she posted a thread about it. She sent me these questions for me to answer so that I could be featured on her blog:

1. How did you start creating what you create?
2. What is your favorite thing to do when you are not creating?
3. Can you name three of you favorite etsy sellers?
4. What is your favorite food?
5. Please give us three strange, interesting or otherwise unknown facts about yourself!!!



I loved Anniepoo's store so much that I decided I would feature her on my blog. So I thought a bit about how to make this feature somewhat different from the others that I have done. And I thought about it, and thought about it, and thought about it some more (a little slow, I know) but finally Eureka! I thought: "Wouldn't it be nice if we could meet the artists through their very own questions to other artists? Wouldn't their own questions in and of themselves give you a little glimpse of themselves?" So I decided to experiment with Anniepoo and lo and behold, she was game. And she was really cool about it too! And here are her answers to her very own questions:

1. I started creating soap about 5 years ago. My husband quit his job and started his own business...I stayed at home with our little baby girl. I inherited my mother's inability to sit still and seeing as I don't really like to clean my house I needed to find something to do with my hands ; )
2. I homeschool my girls so that pretty much takes up any spare moments that I may have to myself....but when the girls go to bed me and the Mr. like to stay up late...listen to great music and watch TV occassionaly and umm...make soap ;)

3. There are so many great shops on etsy! EarCarma has the BEST carmels EVER!!! I love Alphotography, and greybrocket's shop is always fun to look through!

4. I love lettuce wraps! ummm...I could seriously live off of chips and hot sauce and think that Root Beer is quite possibly the greatest liquis ever invented!

5. 3 interesting facts...I am having to dig deep here because I am really not that interesting-
I had my babies at home ala naturale! I think that officially makes me superwoman :)
When I am alone I like to speak in a british accent...I can't believe I just admitted that!
and...um...from kindergarten until the 6th grade I never missed a day of school! boring I know but I warned ya!

And there you have it! And not only is she super cool, but she makes the best soaps around! Check out her shop here! You will love it!

And after you've checked out her cool shop, convo me and tell me one of your most prized secrets. Why should you? Because I may just share mine. I have a seeeeecret! Neener, neener, neener! **BTW...I've been talking it up so much, it's probably going to be very boring to you at this point, but I may STILL share it! See how dedicated I am to all this blogging stuff?**



Ok! Lather up!

All photos courtesy of and all soaps for sale at anniepoo

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Laundry day

Photo courtesy of and for sale at brownrose

I love laundry. Not doing laundry, silly. Just laundry. Like the fresh scent of newly washed clothes. Or the sight of newly laundered white towels stacked up high in the closet ready for use. Or the snapping of the sheets on the clothesline as the wind plays with them.
Photo courtesy of and print for sale at sarahkdesigns.

Ok, I don't hang-dry anything, but work with me here. I am trying to set the stage. There's a feeling of "newness" in all of these things. Everything is bright, shiny and clean and your senses are hightened to another level. All colors are brighter somehow. The sheets are whiter, the sky is bluer and the poppies are redder. The scents around you are more fresh. Everything smells clean and flowery. But in a very subtle way as if the breeze is conspiring with those smells to tease your senses.

Photo courtesy of and candles for sale at miltonandmargies


There's also a feeling of home in laundry days. Laundry days are filled with reminders of what it was like as a kid to be lulled to sleep by the hum of the washing machine, the tinking of a button on a pair of jeans in the dryer or the warmth of those towels when they came out of the dryer. There was something soothing about it in those days. And even today, even though I don't particularly love doing laundry, there's something about laundry...see for yourself in the very first treasury that I put together.


I was a real noob at putting it together (only took me a few hours to figure out that I had snagged one - had no idea how that worked) but I think that you'll appreciate the wonderful etsians that I included. Check out their great wares:




Oh! And remember. Enjoy laundry, but don't kill yourself doing it.


Photo courtesy of and for sale at sixhours

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Meet Sam


Sam's picture may be a bit worrisome. But have no fear. He's a worry doll. Judging by his expression you may think there's no way he can do the job. Trust me. His little heart can take it. He's been training for this his whooooole life. Just project your worries onto him and he will take it from there. He'll do the worrying for you. So you can go on and get some sleep. Go on. He'll protect you from yourself.

Sam is the first in my new series of art dolls that I am calling my worry dolls. The original worry dolls are made in Guatemala. They are tiny dolls made of clay and very colorful thread that children place under their pillow at night so that they can sleep better. Folklore has it that the dolls absorb the children's worries during the night.

I worry. A lot and all the time. To assuage my fears and worries, I create. One day I stumbled upon a wikipedia page that talked about these worry dolls and I was intrigued. Rather intrigued...by the possibilities. And thus Sam was born. How apt is it that I made my own worries go away as I created him? Serendipity. I know...

Sam is completely handmade. His head, hands, feet and heart were made with polymer clay and acrylic paint. His body was handknitted from colorful yarn I had in my stash. I used vintage buttons to decorate him and vintage thread to sew on his little red heart. He is stuffed with polyfill.

You can have your very own Sam and/or a bunch of his friends in my coffeemonkey store on etsy. Come on in and take a look. 'Til next time!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Balls, balls and more balls


I mean the holiday decoration kind...Not sure what you were thinking, but well...let's not go there. I will just get myself into trouble. Anyways...the holidays are upon us. Yeah, I know, it's still too early. I hate it when stores put that stuff out early. But honestly, the shops around here were already putting holiday decorations out before Halloween. I am actually quite late! As much as I hate it, I succumbed to the tempting pull of the holiday vortex. Every year since I was old enough to start buying my own Christmas gifts rather than have mommy and daddy buy them for me (you know, when Christmas stopped being an exciting time of year because it meant I'd had to spend my own money) I have managed to completely ignore the holidays. I managed to scrooge my way out a lot of things.
Putting up decorations was out because I would have to be "out of town" for the holidays. Being out of town = no need to buy gifts. No gifts = no need for gift wrapping. No gift wrapping = no need to brave the store isles full of commercialized holiday junk. No store visits = no need to hear the same obnoxious fa la la la la la la la la...scrooge enough for you? I had it all worked out. Well...not this year...no siree...THIS year, this gal has found her way back to the cheeriness that is Christmas. The holiday season has begun and this gal is ready for it. Yup...this year everything is different...THIS year, I got bit by the holiday bug. Not sure where he came from, not sure where he's going. I am not even sure where he is right now. But I felt him stick me with a dose of holiday cheer right there, as I browsed around one of my favorite vintage stores.
As my eyes honed in on a brown box on the shelf that was in tatters, I felt him bite me. And he hungrily sucked the scrooge out of me like a mosquito in the middle of a humid Florida summer day as I peeled back the top of the tattered brown box to display a set of beautiful red vintage holiday ornaments. These things were so shiny that I could see myself in them. They were so red they might have been mistaken for Rudolph's nose. They were so old that they might have been older than me (unlikely but whatever). These things were so beautiful they rivaled an unblemished snow covered river bank at first light on a Christmas morning. Yeah, THAT beautiful. The bug was full and satisfied. He flew away to find his next scrooge victim. I was left empty to be filled with nothing but love and affection for that distant yet oddly familiar sense of "the holidays". I bought the ornaments and ran home to do what I always do when I am happy. I create.


You can find these lovely ornaments in my etsy shop natuure but for a very limited time. I will still be "out of town" for the holidays.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Chocolate mountains

They exist! Yes, they do. I have finally found proof. And here. Today. I am sharing it with you. Yeah you. Here. Right now. If you haven't seen my listing on Etsy (shameless plug here, I know) for my Suchard Chocolate Mountains painting do that here first. Now....a little background. I was born in Belgium so I've had my share of awesome chocolate. You can taste it now can't you? hmmm...yeah, those fancy white chocolate pralines with the hazelnut creme inside and a little hazelnut to top it all off...hmmm... yeah, well, when I was a kid my favorite were actually the chocolate bars you could find in any grocery store. It wasn't the chocolate (although chocolate in any form was and still is pretty good don't get me wrong). But it was that soft lavender purple packaging that got me every time. It had a picture of a little pasture just below these huge mountains capped with snow. Cute little white and purple cows were standing around in the pasture.

Photo courtesy of and for sale at shutterstitch

But those mountains...those mountains were impressive. They were just so majestic. And their presence was so serene. I could see myself in the pastures just looking up at them. So that was what the packaging looked like, or did it? You know how sometimes your reality forms from several different memories all jumbled together in that wierd unconscious way? And you swear that things happened exactly as you think they did but someone else who was there saw it completely different? Or that a favorite something you remember as a kid looks exactly this or exactly that and then you run into one in some vintage shop somewhere and it actually looked somewhat different than you remember? I mean, I really can't be sure that the package was a soft purple, nor that there were cows in the pasture, but that's exactly what I imagine when I think of chocolate. And what about those majestic mountains? Were they just a figment of my imagination? I have always associated chocolate with those mountains and the name Suchard. It never really bothered me enough to do some research or anyhing. After all, our memories are sometimes better left "unresearched" so that they hold their magical surreal quality. There's a certain happiness in that. I mean, your childhood home never quite looks or feels the same way it did when you were a kid. The idea that you can never really go back to the way things were really holds some truth. I digress (as usual). Enter my "proof". I was shopping in a small antique shop in town and found this postcard:

Proof! Proof it wasn't just a figment of my imagination. So they are not cows. They're horses. And there's no pasture. And it's not lavender purple but I can fix THAT!


So maybe there aren't any cows or pastures. But those mountains...so majestic. So serene. So chocolaty. Well...um...maybe not, but check out this etsy seller who has the same love for chocolate mountains as I do: The Chocolate Mountain Candle Co.

Photo courtesy of and candles for sale at http://cmcc1.etsy.com/

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Check this beauty out!

So a long, long time ago...in a land very far away...no, not really, it was about a year ago and I was on my computer in my house and probably in my pajamas...but I digress. I came upon one of the beautifulest. Stop here for a moment. Yes, I know beautifulest is not a word, but it's very apt. Trust me! Again, I digress...I came upon one of the beautifulest shops that I have ever seen on Etsy. Here's where I get mean. I am not telling you the shop's name. No! I won't. And the reason is that I really don't want you to go buy up all the stuff in it. That's right. I want it all to myself. So what if I am being selfish. Haven't you ever been selfish? Come on now...I won't believe. I CANNOT believe that some time in your life you haven't felt like being selfish was...well, justified!! YEAH! J-U-S-T-I-F-I-E-D!!! Justified. No? What about the time that you...mmmmmm....when you...*concentrating*...when. You know....*furrowing brows*...when you...well, ok. I guess you've nev...mmmm...*enter the confused look* ...really? ...ok, you're right. I guess I should share. Ok...here goes....there's this awesome shop called ....mmmm...can't remember how to do this...how do I position this awesome shop? I mean I can't very well tell you about everything that's in the shop that I like or I would have to blog for hours! My dog needs to eat for crying out loud. I can't just sit here for hours and just ignore everything else that goes on in my life. I mean not that I go out much or have much of a life or anything but well...I mean I have lots of friends and we go out a lot. I mean to dinner and stuff. Yeah, you know and there are some really cool restaurants around here. I mean, what do you like to eat? No, I am not the biggest fan of ....awwww shucks! I'll spill the beans....It's nestahome! NESTAHOME! NESTAHOME! NESTAHOME! Am I getting obnoxious yet? Seriously, check out her cool photographs and paintings and everything else in between! You'll love it there!! And check out the beautiful treasury she put me in with some super talented people the other day! I even got a a really cool comment on the treasury about my photographing skills. Oh and one more thing, have you SEEN the other talented people in the treasury with me? Here they are: theStarcraft, HelloCrafty, natuure (ahem...shameless plug), heatherjeany, BackThennishVintage, GetReadySetGO (repeat fellow treasury featured shop here folks! Because it's awesome!), kitsandcaboodles (you already know this is one of my VERY favorites), donina, ziazia, katsai, robynski, noemiah. Back to my photographing skills. I have always had trouble with getting my item photographs for my shop to turn out just right. I mean the light is always kind of wierd and I don't ever seem to be able to get my items positioned just so. Then, one day, I was checking out the forums and I checked out this post that talked about how to use...blah blah blah blah blah...

*shut me up please - I can't hear myself think!*

All photos courtesy of and for sale at nestahome. Please also check out her other shop at nestausa.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Treasury time!


YAY! YAY! YAY! Made another treasury! I looooove treasuries. I seem to be drawn to a lot of the monochromatic ones myself. And I've always been a fan of the black and white theme. So thank you Rachel at secrethistory for including me in yours!

Incidentally, dear readers, if you haven't seen Rachel's shop you must do so now! She's one of those talented photographers that can turn something everyday and ordinary into something amazingly beautiful, serene and poignant at the same time. I mean, seriously...it's a chair. But have you seen anything more beautiful? I think not. Have you ever felt what you feel when you see the way the light hits the room just so. Casting the shadow of that chair onto the wall ever so slightly visible. And that large patch of light on the ground inviting you in. And the white of those curtains mingling with the white of the banister but petulantly ignoring the white on the wall behind it. Striking, isn't it, what Rachael can do with a camera? I rest my case (of books).

Ok now, check out the great treasury she put together. Dark, edgy, yet peaceful in a way. What a great showcase of extremely talented etsians. Don't forget to check out their shops!



etceteramedia
KeysandMemories
ara133photography
ThePeachTree
nestahome
natuure : )
PixiePrints
Xenotees
stephaniegibson
f2images
purposedesign
Earmark





Top two photos courtesy of and prints for sale at secrethistory. Thanks for hanging out!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

For the love of paper!

If you haven't yet noticed, I love paper. Any kind of paper. From the kind one can find at a specialty art store to the kind I would find in your recycling bin. From new to old. From colorful to bland. From dictionnary pages to magazines to cereal boxes to junk mail...well, you get the picture. And there are a lot of Etsians who love it too. Believe me.

One of my very favorites is a lovely gal by the name of Mollie whose shop royalbuffet is a paper lover's dream! You should really check out her stuff even if you're not a paper enthusiast like myself. Because you will be, after you check out her shop and see what paper is all about. You really really really should check out her stuff if you DO like paper. C'mon! You can never have enough of it! Especially the way she uses it...the paper just comes alive! She has an amazing sense of composition that she uses in putting together every garland and every mobile that she works on. The vintage french magazines will have you speaking french the minute you take home one of her lovely decorations. Go on...have yourself a meal (of paper) fit for a queen* at the royal buffet. Let them eat cake!

*For the record in case you've read my earlier post - I know that the expression is actually "a meal fit for a king". I learned that one once when I exclaimed: "Wow! That was a king's meal" after having an especially delicious and very filling meal. Someone was of course, nice enough to correct me. And below you will see a beautiful wreath made by Mollie that unfortunately I would pronounce reath as in breath. Oh for the love of all things that are holly! I mean holy...*blush*


All photos courtesy of and items for sale at royalbuffett

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

1984


Photo courtesy of and T-shirt for sale at nodemo

1984 is the year my life started. Well, not really. I am not THAT young. But it IS the year that starts my consciousness of the world in which I live in today. No, this isn't a reference to some kind of "zen" thing. It's just that before 1984 I lived in a culture completely different from the one I live in today. I moved to the United States in 1984 not knowing a word of english besides "yes", "please", "thank you" and "sun." (Don't ask me why I specifically retained that last word from all of the other words I was made to learn in my English class in elementary school, but I did).
Now, imagine walking into your first day of 7th grade in some foreign land where people don't speak a lick of what you speak, don't wear one item of clothing that is in any way similar to what you're wearing (frilly dresses that in this culture kids stop wearing at age 4), and people eat some wierd concoctions that you couldn't even think of putting together on the same plate let alone on a sandwich, Peenah baddaah jalleee (photo courtesy of and note cards for sale at exquisiteimage). And all eyes are on YOU! Oh come on, it's not that bad is it? No, it's not. The worst comes later. When you're 32 and you can't for the life of you remember that darn expression people use for not caring about a certain incident. Uh...water over the bridge...ice under the bridge...ice under the water over the bridge over the ice in the water? And you don't have an accent when you speak english so when the person you're talking to turns to you with a raised eyebrow wondering what is wrong with you, you shudder to think what their thoughts are on your mental acuity or lack thereof. You just look stupid.

Then you join a water cooler meeting in progress in your office where people discuss the finer points of that super popular show from before your time that everyone knows everything about everytime it is mentioned. You know, that show everyone loves to remember from when they were kids (photo courtesy of and stickers for sale at samann1121). Remember when so and so did this? And so and so said that? Blah, blah, blah. You try to pretend you know, but inevitably you end up making some faux pas and mixing up trivia from different shows trying to pass off like you know something. And all eyes are on YOU and you're just lookin' stupid.

That's when you try to to find someone in the water cooler gang to help you recuperate your "cool" status and you say: "Remember in 1982 when so and so won Eurovision?" And all eyes are on YOU and that's when you know stupid is not quite the word you were looking for to describe yourself. You're just plain, well...what's that expression? One fry short of a combo #5? Ok, but at least I recycle.


Photo courtesy of and tote for sale at andyeatsonlycandy

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Honored

I will be posting again later today with a regular post, but I was just featured in a Treasury and I had to share. Royalbuffet (more on her lovely shop in a future post) was so sweet in picking one of my Edgar Allan Poe playing card paper dolls! I feel so honored to be featured in a treasury with such talented individuals!! Check out their great shops




Saturday, October 11, 2008

Leap

Photo courtesy of Rozart

So, I have this day job. Yeah...everyone knows how hard it is to make a living as an artist/crafter so I have sold my soul to devil that is capitalism and I have a 9-5 job like many other Etsians I know. It's actually a great job. I work with really awesome people in an environment that is nurturing to my goals and dreams. My job allows me to use my degree while helping others at the same time. I am able to make a difference and enrich peoples' lives. Literally. It's fun, it's exciting, it's challenging...and it's $%@#$% stressful!! You guessed it. I work in the finance industry. That's all I will say about except that with what's happening to our economy now I think I may need to see either a priest, a psychiatrist or a fortune teller before the year is over. Yeah. It's that stressful right now. But it pays the bills and pays for my art supplies which afford me the luxury of making stuff which in turn helps me deal with my stress which is caused by the fact that I have to work to support my art. Hmmm...sounds like a catch 22.
Photo courtesy of and painting for sale at Rozart
Anyways, so everyone has stress right. So how does one deal with it if they aren't artists themselves or maybe they are artists, but don't do that kind of art. Or maybe they do do that kind of art, but not like that! Well, then they should buy art. Buy that piece that speaks to you. That piece that makes you feel good about life, about yourself, about the message embedded in its beauty or maybe just because you like it. That's how I feel about this piece by Rozart. The freedom of "letting it all go" depicted in this painting is palpable. My stress dissipates as I feel myself soaring through this beautiful thing we call life. There's no way I could paint THAT! Now, if I could just make more money at my etsy job to support my art buying habit...I'd be golden! (and certainly much less blue)
Photo courtesy of and painting for sale at Rozart

**A special thank you to Suzanne at Bliss Soybean Candles for featuring a great artist named LoriMirabelli on her blog (that I've been following for a while now). Lori turned me onto Rozart's beautiful art as well as her own. Check Lori's art out here. And here's one of my favorites of hers!