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.