Friday, July 31, 2009

A "thank you" and a sale too!

Hello friends! If I've said it once, I've said it a hundred times in the past few days: It's amazing how far behind you can get by taking just a few days off. Whew! I feel like I'm finally getting back on track, getting over a cold, and I'm just plain exhausted. Aren't you glad it's the weekend?!

I must say how very much I appreciate each and every one of the emails, Etsy convos, and blog comments I have received over the last week. I apologize if I have overlooked replying to anyone - just know that it is truly appreciated. It's been a hard time, but we're pulling through. It has been especially hard on my husband and kids. They lost their grandma, and he... well, I can't imagine losing my mother. =(

I know the next few weeks may be even harder, as special days and holidays come around. I know all too well that the pain of losing a loved one never goes away. Especially when they are taken from you so suddenly and unexpectedly. Our only comfort is that they are together now, in a special place, with no more pain and suffering.




On a lighter note...

Here is a beautiful treasury I've been included in!
Feeling Edgy by MarciG

Today is the last day of free shipping in my shop, so please spread the word. Can you believe it's the last day of July?! Where has 2009 gone?

Mention my blog at checkout, and I'll give ya an additional 10% off (refunded through PayPal)!

Thank you again, so very much!
xo

Weekend Whimsy {Carnival Ride}

Because my life is like a roller coaster lately. ;-)

I love each of these whimsical pieces. Popcorn, pretzels, elephants and ferris wheels - how fun is that?!
nice day for a ride - The Bucks County Frame and Moulding Co.
popcorn soap - LoveLeeSoaps
elephant on a ball t-shirt - JesterFunnyBooks
balance necklace - The Sunshine Studio
playing circus print - Joutomaa
pretzel & corn on the cob earrings - KungFuCowgirl
maui county fair photograph - Honeytree Photography

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Love Story meets Viva La Vida

I just had to share this amazing video. The song Love Story by Taylor Swift meets Coldplay's Viva La Vida. Performed and composed by an amazing pianist and cellist.

Speaking of pianos, we just moved mine from my parent's to our house. I think I'll go play it now. ;-)

Hope you're having a wonderful, sunshiny day!


Purse-aholic

This week's darling little bag is handmade by the lovely Amanda of The Vintage Bag. I love its colors and all the little details she put into it: The vintage lace, button, and lining... Stop by her shop for other goodies here and here...

Monday, July 27, 2009

Drumroll Please. . .

Nina wins her choice of Jen's beautiful Tattered Flower Necklace or her French Beach House Pillow. Congratulations!
I really appreciate Jen taking the time to participate in the interview and for so generously offering her beautiful work. Her shop is truly lovely, and if you haven't had the chance yet, I encourage you to stop by.

Thanks to all who entered as well. We had a record-breaking 112 entries this time. Wow!!

Now for a quick update:
Unfortunately, there won't be a Hall of Fame Interview & Giveaway this week. I'll be taking a break from the blog, but will be back on track this Wednesday. An awesome Etsian will be in the Hall of Fame next week, so you don't want to miss it - mark your calendar! My husband's mother passed away Friday, so I will be spending time with the family for a couple more days - please keep us in your prayers. Thank you again for all the love and support.
xo

Friday, July 24, 2009

Thursday, July 23, 2009

200 Sales


Yay!!!

A big thank you to all of my wonderful customers!! I'm so glad to have brought a little sunshine your way.

Here's to 100 more!

Midweek Updates

A little late...

FREE SHIPPING anywhere on anything in my shop is still going on throughout July!
Be my 200th customer and receive a FREE GIFT with your purchase!

Lots of new pieces listed in the shop today! And more to come!
Don't forget about EtsyProjectEmbrace. Stop by and support the cause!
And... Get in on the City Farmhouse Giveaway. It ends this Sunday, so you better hurry! The winner gets to choose either a lovely pillow or necklace. Enter here!

Purse-aholic

I'm delighted to have come across this Etsy artist! Ruta Jasiuniene has a lovely shop filled with handmade bags and accessories. Take this week's featured handbag for example. And it comes in several colors!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Creative Corner

Want to shop handmade for your pet? Here's three adorable Etsy shops that cater to our furry friends.

Wordless Wednesday

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Trendy Tuesday

Another light and airy collection that's perfect for summertime. It exudes comfort - ideal for a picnic, a day on the lake, or a trip to the county fair.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Project Embrace + Fab Etsy Finds

I have had the privilege of "meeting" Laura Slocum. She doesn't know me, but I have been following her story. Laura, is fighting stage 3 ovarian cancer, which she was diagnosed with this June. In support of her and the fight against cancer, Etsy sellers have come together to start Etsy Project Embrace. There has been an outpouring of support, and dozens of Etsians are donating the proceeds of their goods to the cause.

Please visit Laura's shop, Creatively Tangled, and her blog for updates. You can also search Etsy using the keywords: EtsyProjectEmbrace for the many, many handmade items to benefit the American Cancer Society.

Click here for more info directly from the ACS about Etsy Project Embrace, to make a direct donation, or to join the team.

Here's a sampling of items you're sure to love, whose proceeds will be donated to the cause. . .

And here is my lovely new necklace from Polarity - Cat donated 100% of this sale to the American Cancer Society! Get your own Strength Locket Set and show your support here.
Keep on fighting Laura!

Drumroll Please. . .

The winner is, Sarah K. of Sarah Smiles, who said, "I love movies, it's hard to pick a fave! But I could watch The Count of Monte Cristo and Phantom of the Opera over and over again!"

Sarah wins a set of two of Lana's lovely yarn bracelets in whichever colors she chooses. Congratulations!
Many, many thanks to Lana for a wonderful interview. I really enjoyed reading her replies and was inspired - hope you were! I also enjoyed reading all of your comments and learning what your favorite movies are. Thanks so much! For those of you who haven't seen Lana's shops, you must check them out... Here and here. For those of you who need some inspiration, I encourage you to read her interview. Also, Lana is hosting her own little giveaway over on her new blog! Click here to check it out. Good luck!

A new Hall of Fame Interview & Giveaway started today, so be sure to stop by for your chance to win something handmade and fabulous from Etsy shop City Farmhouse. Have a great day!!

Hall of Fame {City Farmhouse}

Hello there! Welcome to this week's Hall of Fame Interview and Giveaway. Kick back, relax, and enjoy...

Meet Jen, the sweet lady behind the shop City Farmhouse. Jen is a stay-at-home-mom to her three year old boy. One of four kids, she was always encouraged to be creative and was taught to sew by her mom at age eight.

Read on to delve a little into her passion. Learn where she lives that is so inspiring to her, her love of ice cream, and a chance to win some of her lovely work!

What inspires you?
Life, history, design, nature, music but most of all it is people that inspire me the most. I am inspired by their stories; hardships, triumphs, dreams fulfilled, dreams lost, love for family and friends and their resilience.

Where do you call home? Are you from there originally?
I call Bellport, NY home. I was born and raised in this quaint little seaside town.
Name something unique to where you live.
Bellport is a historic town situated on the Great South Bay. If you walk the village streets you will see beautiful historic homes lined with white picket fences, you can watch the sailboats come in and out of the harbor, take a ferry ride to Fire Island, park yourself at the band shell for a concert, let the kids run around at the “slide beach”, walk through town and browse the local shops, cool off with a little ice-cream and/or finish the night off with a great meal at one of our 4 incredible restaurants.

Share an interesting fact about yourself.
I received my undergraduate degree in Elementary Education and taught the first 3 years out of college.

What are three of your favorite foods?
That’s easy, ice cream, enchiladas and bread, not all together of course.
What made you decide to open up shop?
It just seemed like the next step, I have been designing and selling my products for a very long time and through that experience I thought selling on etsy would to be a win, win. I had a brick and mortar shop along with a web site and I actually think etsy is the best fit for me.

Do you have a day job or sell on Etsy full-time?
I definitely wear many hats through the day. I am a stay at home mom who sells on etsy as much as possible and who just in the last year made my way back into teaching.

How did you select the name City Farmhouse? Any special significance?
I wanted a name that brought together old with new, urban with country and I like the play on words, people are always curious.
Name your favorite thing about selling handmade.
I love knowing that someone out there appreciates my designs and the time that it took to create it. I enjoy the chit chat with my customers whether in person or via email, I get a thrill knowing they’re happy.

Share with us a favorite Etsy purchase or shop.
I have so many favorites!

Here are a few of Jen's favorites, which I think reflect her lovely personal style...
List a few of your most favorite pastimes.
I walk almost every day, it is my time to reflect, I am better when I have this time. I enjoy taking photographs just for fun. I love garage sales, tag sales, antique shows, any place where I can find a diamond in the rough and turn it into something spectacular and spending time with my family.

Below, are a few of Jen's photographs...
Read any good books lately?
The last book I read was about a month ago, it was Summerhouse by Jude Deveraux. Amazing book I highly recommend it, a great summer read.

What is your most prized possession?
I would have to say old family photos and my wedding rings.

If you had to describe yourself in a word, what would that word be?
Nice. I have been on the receiving end of kindness and I value it tremendously. I think lending a hand so to speak is one of the most important things we can do for each other.
Name one place you must visit in your lifetime and why.
I think I would have to say France and Ireland. My father’s father was from Nice, so I would love a chance to visit, to connect to that part of my heritage plus the fact that it’s a magnificently beautiful area, which is all the more reason. My mother was 100% Irish and she was very proud of her Irish roots, they were from Belfast. Since all I have left from her and her side of the family are notes and letters from the past I would love any opportunity to rekindle my connection to my Irish legacy.

A huge thank you to Jen for participating in my little interview and sharing her lovely work with us! Please stop by her shop and give her a heart and her blog to read more about her.

Time for a Giveaway!!
Oh how I wish I could get in on this one! Jen has so generously offered the winner their choice of one of the two lovely items shown below. The Tattered Flower Necklace or The French Beach House Pillow which reads - Maison de Plage. Both are valued at $30! Wow, thanks Jen!

To enter, please leave a comment on this post with your name, and email address or Etsy username. That's it!

For extra entries you can:
Tweet this giveaway: 2 additional entries
Follow my blog and/or Jen's Blog: 5 additional entries
Blog about this interview/contest: 7 additional entries
Purchase from City Farmhouse : 10 additional entries

(Please include this info, if applicable, with your comment for additional entries. You do not need to leave separate comments for additional entries. Important: Don't forget to include your name and contact info!)

Contest ends Sunday, July 26th at 11:59 pm EST. Winner will be chosen by traditional drawing and will be announced Monday, July 27th.

Worth Quoting

Peace.
A state of mind at rest with circumstance.
Peace.
A place in the heart that doesn't grow weary.
Peace.
A longing, not for more but less.
Peace.
Comfort in the turmoil - shelter in the storm.
Peace.
A gentle breeze blowing sweet fragrance by your dwelling.
Peace.
Contentment in this land and hope for the Promised.

Peace to you, My Friends.

Amen.

~My Aunt, Betty DeMers

Friday, July 17, 2009

Weekend Whimsy {Papillons}

La fee des papillons MatiLou
Magical Flight Earrings The Sunshine Studio
Clutch Jennifer Ladd
Petite Papillon Ring Bijoutiful
Confetti A Whim Away
Locket Locket2You
Ginseng Orchids Bag A Touch of Stardust
Flutter By ivory & noir

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Purse-aholic

I'm very lucky to have caught this week's featured purse! Made by Hank is one of the most darling (and sought after) handbag shops on Etsy. Many of us out there in "Etsy-land", who know of this little shop, have made close friends with our refresh button trying to catch one for our very own. Katie (Hank) makes her pretties in batches and they sell fast. Check out her shop (and her blog for updates). And let me know if you snag one - I'll be jealous. ;-)

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Creative Corner

A little bit of handmade goodness - all made with wood!

Wordless Wednesday

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Trendy Tuesday

With this beautifully patterned dress, and bright, vintage shoes, I chose earrings that were minimal but equally lovely. These studs, made from polymer clay, are just the right accent to this ensemble without detracting from the dress. How I'd love to wear this to an outdoor wedding or garden party/picnic!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Hall of Fame {Eastern Sky}

Welcome back, everyone! Grab a cup of coffee (or maybe tea would be more appropriate in this case), and kick back to read what may be the most insightful and inspiring interview yet.

Meet Lana, the dexterous woman behind Eastern Sky. Lana is truly a jack-of-all-trades, running not one, but three successful shops on Etsy.

Keep reading and discover her undeniable passion for handmade, her many skills, just who is Mr. P, and a chance to win some of her gorgeous, handmade work.

(above polaroid: Lana with her father - she's "the one without the beard.")

What inspires you?
Anything and everything! Inspiration can hit from the strangest places; a smell, a sound, the play of light through leaves, a ripple on water, the curve of a unfurling fern… Almost anything you see can evoke a thought which can grow and take shape in your mind, and turn into the most unexpected things…

Where do you call home? Are you from there originally?
Home is currently Shropshire (England), and I have lived here since 1994. It’s a beautiful place, with rolling green hills, picturesque villages and ribbons of woodland. I was born in Manchester, but moved from there to the countryside of Cheshire when I was about 5.
Name something unique to where you live.
The world's first cast iron bridge was built over the River Severn at Coalbrookdale in Shropshire in 1779. The Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust has 10 museums along the river including Blists Hill Victorian Town, which is a recreated Victorian town full of people in costumes where you can experience Victorian life up close and personal! Fun AND educational… : )

Share an interesting fact about yourself.
Interesting huh? Let me see… I was born backwards. Yup, came out butt-first. With my feet tucked behind my ears

What are three of your favorite foods?
Is a cup of tea food? Cause I love a good cup of tea. (It has to be Twinings Earl Grey though, it’s the best sort.) I’m not sure I’m able to choose just 3 things, my favourite foods depend entirely on what time of day it is, whether it’s summer or winter… There’s just too much good food out there! I’m quite partial to a bit of seafood though. Mmmm, prawns…
What made you decide to open up shop?
Opening a shop wasn’t really so much of a decision as a necessity… I literally can’t stop myself from making things. My bedroom/studio is filled with wire, gemstones, fabric, yarn, paper, pencils, paints, fibre for felting, glue, beads, thread, pliers, random supplies I’ve had an interesting idea for but haven’t got round to using yet… I drag my crafting supplies around with me; if I know I’ve got to sit somewhere and wait even for 10 minutes I take knitting with me, or a sketchbook. If I sit down to watch a movie in the evening I will generally be knitting at the same time, or making felt beads, or drawing, or wire wrapping some gemstones… I have several boxes filled with bags of jewellery I’ve made and haven’t had chance to photograph yet. I’ve got bags stuffed with hand knit scarves and cowls that need listing, I’ve got about 3 massive quilts that need finishing off and about a hundred other projects on the go. I’m learning to make shoes. If I don’t sell some of this stuff I will eventually disappear beneath a mountain of handcrafted goodness… Also I need money to buy new supplies so I can make more things! I love the sense of satisfaction you get when you sit back and look at something you have made all by yourself. Honestly, I never want to do anything else.
Do you have a day job or sell on Etsy full-time?
I used to have a day job! Until April of this year I was working in a hospital pathology department (my degree was in Biology and Biochemistry…), but it was only a temporary position, and when it finished I decided to take the plunge and concentrate full time on my etsy shops. It’s been a lot of hard work so far, and I’m anticipating more hard work to come, but it’s also been a lot of fun! I’m really hoping to be successful enough not to have to go back to a ‘regular job’. I’m currently running 2 shops on etsy, EasternSky and FirebirdJewellery, but I’m considering opening some more! (I guess I’m a sucker for punishment…) I want to keep each of my shops looking cohesive and not too cluttered with random things, so I’m thinking I might open a separate shop for hand knit things, clothing, quilts (and maybe shoes when I’ve figured them out), and another one for artwork and photography… I don’t know, is 4 shops a crazy idea? Cause I’m also thinking about another shop for handbound books and one for stuffed animals too… Oh yeah, and there’s my beading supply shop. (themagpietree, currently empty…) Too much? Feel free to write and tell me I’m crazy.

How did you select the name Eastern Sky? Any special significance?
Picking a shop name is one of the hardest things ever. It has to be something you won’t get fed up of, cause you can’t change it! I did have a pretty long think about it, and I ended up with Eastern Sky mostly because it sounds quite nice and not too silly… Also it’s quite symbolic in a way; the East has always sounded exotic and interesting, centuries ago all the traders would head off into the far East and return with exciting cargoes of silk, spices and gems. The East has always made me think of things like Arabian Nights and exotic adventure… The sun rises in the Eastern sky and so it symbolises new beginnings and rebirth. I wanted my etsy shops to be my rebirth, moving away from the world of 9-5 jobs and commuting, and into a world of creativity where I felt happy and fulfilled. I’ve kind of got a rebirth theme going on with my shop names now since I opened up FirebirdJewellery (firebird = phoenix), so I guess I’ll have to bear that in mind if I open up any new shops!

Name your favorite thing about selling handmade.
Everything! I love every aspect of it. I love looking around for the perfect items and supplies to work with (online shopping is great for this as the whole world is my store), I love opening packages that arrive in the mail and inspecting the new goodies (I’m currently awaiting the arrival of some handmade lampwork beads that I’m quite excited about), then I get to make things! Lately I’ve been finding the photography quite tedious as I end up taking so many photos, and then I spend hours editing them, and I’m never quite satisfied with the end results. Although just the other day I got a lovely surprise convo through my jewellery shop from someone who just wanted to tell me how much she liked my work, and that my photos were stunning! (Thank you Charlotte!) And that’s another thing I love about selling handmade, the interaction you get with the people who buy your work – knowing that something you’ve made, and put a little piece of your soul into is being loved and appreciated by someone far away, perhaps on the other side of the world…
Once upon a time, everything was handmade. Everything that was ever made was made by someone’s hands, and each item had care and attention put into it. That somehow made things more special, gave them more meaning. If I drop a shop bought bowl and break it, I just throw away the bits and buy another one from the supermarket or wherever. It’s identical. A thousand people have the same bowl in their kitchen cupboard. If I drop a handmade bowl I bought from a ceramic artist, I would feel really upset. The bowl would be gone, and there would never be another one quite like it. I love everything about selling (and buying) handmade, but perhaps my favourite thing is the fact that the item in question IS handmade, and when you hold it in your hands, you are holding a little piece of someone’s soul…

Share with us a favorite Etsy purchase or shop.
Where to begin? There are so many! I love shopping on etsy. There are so many things I spot every day that I really want to buy, but I have to restrain myself… My last real impulse buy, where I spotted something and loved it so much I had to buy it there and then was a beautiful pale blue vintage Amelia Earhart suitcase with hand drawn illustrations on it from Rachel of GetReadySetGO. I couldn’t really afford it, but I bought it anyway. I wasn’t even going anywhere.

List a few of your most favorite pastimes.
Making things! : ) I also love reading, but lately just haven’t had the time to sit down and read something. I can quite happily spend a whole day curled up in a chair with a good book (and a cup of tea), but these days my head is filled with thoughts of “I should really be doing that photography now” or “Don’t I have about 500 photos to edit?” and “I’d better get those orders packed up to go to the post in the morning”…
I love going for walks too, not huge mad hikes or anything, just happily wandering through the countryside and daydreaming as I go.

Read any good books lately?
See above! I think the last book I actually sat down and read was ‘The Woman in White’ by Wilkie Collins. I wouldn’t say it was my favourite book ever, but I did really enjoy it. Some of my favourites include ‘Voice of the Fire’ by Alan Moore, ‘And the Ass saw the Angel’ by Nick Cave and most things by Neil Gaiman. (I also have a secret love of the Harry Potter books, but shhhh! Don’t tell anyone…)

What is your most prized possession?
I’m not sure I have one single possession that stands out above all the others… Out of all the things that I can be said to own, I would be most upset if something happened to my cat Pippin (that’s Mr P to you…) although he’s not really my possession, he comes and goes as he pleases.
Pippin

If you had to describe yourself in a word, what would that word be?
I only get one? Hmmm… I think I’ll go with ‘creative’. Although perhaps it should be ‘indecisive’…

Name one place you must visit in your lifetime and why.
Again, only one?! I’m no good at this choosing thing… There are so many places in the world that I really want to go to… How can I choose between Machu Picchu and Angkor Wat? Although just lately I do really have my heart set on Australia…

A huge thank you to Lana for sharing with us! Stop by her blog and show her some love...

Time for a Giveaway!!
Didn't I tell you you'd be glad you stopped by?! Lana is generously offering one winner a set of two of her lovely bracelets (as shown above) in either cotton or merino yarn in whatever colors they choose!! Awesome!

Lana would like to know what your favorite movies are!
To enter, please leave a comment on this post with your answer, name, and email address or Etsy username.

For extra entries you can:
Tweet this giveaway: 2 additional entries
Follow my blog and/or Lana's blog: 5 additional entries
Blog about this interview/contest: 7 additional entries
Purchase from Eastern Sky or FirebirdJewellery : 10 additional entries
(Please include this info, if applicable, with your comment for additional entries. You do not need to leave separate comments for additional entries. Important: Don't forget to include your name and contact info!)

Contest ends Sunday, July 19th at 11:59 pm EST. Winner will be chosen by traditional drawing and will be announced Monday, July 20th.

Drumroll Please. . .


The winner is, Kristen of K. Nice Artworks, who said, "I am fortunate enough to live on the coast...so it would have to be the beach! There's a great one 20 minutes from our door that has some wonderful, huge rocks and windswept, knobby trees."

Kristen wins her choice of print from Get the Picture! Kristen, stop back by and let us know what you choose. Congratulations!

What a wonderful turnout with 100 entries!! Thanks to each of you for taking the time to enter and for sharing your favorite picnic spot. I enjoyed reading all of your answers! And much appreciation to Beth for her generosity and giving us a peek into her life.

A new Hall of Fame Interview & Giveaway starts today, so be sure to stop back by for your chance to win something handmade and fabulous. Trust me, you'll be glad you didn't miss this one. Have a great day!!

Worth Quoting

When you come to the edge of all the light you know, and are about to step off into the darkness of the unknown, faith is knowing one of two things will happen: There will be something solid to stand on, or you will be taught how to fly.

~Barbara J. Winter

Friday, July 10, 2009

Weekend Whimsy {Do You Belive in Magic?}

A few magical finds...
Ella - a femme hairclip by the Honeycomb
Mythical Creatures - magnetic locket bracelet by Polarity
Little Unicorn on the Thinking Pot by Pinkytoast
Unicorn Tears by Sea Unicorn
Flower Tutu by Dandelion Designs by Em
Twilight Dream by Thompson Designs

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Purse-aholic

I love this bag's roomy style and adjustable shoulder strap. It also comes in several colors! And the best part? Rainbow Swirlz is having a Big Bad Bag Sale! Take a look at their shop with many varieties of bags, colors, and prints. Better hurry, the sale ends July 15th!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Midweek Updates

It's a great day for giveaways! And I'm here to let you in on a few. Good luck!
Enter to win a beautiful mini clutch, or $45 towards a purchase, from the lovely Jill of JohnMetBetty. Hosted by Nicole of lillyella. Click here to enter and for full details.
The amazing shop Fosterweld, is giving away one of their awesome turquoise on white cuffs! Hosted by Cat of Uncorked+ Polarity. Click here for details and to enter the contest.
While you're here, be sure to enter my giveaway with current Hall of Famer, Get the Picture! You could win your choice of any print in her shop! Click here to read the interview and enter the contest.

And don't forget that I'm offering free shipping on everything in my shop throughout July! Have a great week!

Creative Corner

Something handmade, something blue. . .
Little Boy Blue Vintage Ceramic by moxie sisters
Clouds Rolling In by Linda Cordner
Denim Blossom Earrings by Bina Geyer

Wordless Wednesday

Monday, July 6, 2009

Drumroll Please. . .


The winner is, Kara of Kara Annis Jewelry, who said, "My favorite color changes from season to season... right now I'm loving orange - bright and cheerful for the summer!"

Kara wins a $20 gift certificate to her choice of Laura's shops - Watercolors by Laura Trevey or L and L Designs! Kara, stop back by and let us know what you choose. Congratulations!

Thanks to all who entered and to Laura for sharing with us!

A new Hall of Fame Interview & Giveaway started today, so be sure to stop by while you're here for your chance to win your choice of print from Etsy seller, Get the Picture! Have a great day!!