Thursday, December 31, 2009

oh hey, it's thursday again

This week's EART blog ring topic is "wordless works in progress." So here it is - I'm working on holidays cards for 2010 so as not to be so far behind next year, and snark Valentines for thepaperwhisperer.

See what other EART bloggers have in the works. Continue with pnkgeeni.

Friday, December 25, 2009

jewelry set

Special order for a friend - I love the way she put the colors together. The pendant is by marciapalmer.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

xmas foods

My neighbor and I made peanut clusters and caramel apples while we were snowed in on Saturday. Had a great time!
Here are the apples wrapped. I didn't have any popsicle sticks, so we used plastic spoons with the spoon part broken off.
Then we did our wrapping. Behold the mess!
Then came Sunday and shoveling...

Monday, December 21, 2009

secret santa gift from hairbowswonderworld

Here's my secret santa gift from EART friend hairbowswonderworld. She cleverly made it so it could be a hairbow, brooch or ornament. Good thinking!

This is my favorite cool thing from her shop right now. Love the colors!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Thursday EART blog ring: favorite etsy shops

The topic of the EART Thursday blog ring this week is Your Favorite Etsy Shops.

There are hundreds of etsy sellers and shops that I absolutely love, so I'm just going to share the ones I actually own stuff from.

I actually have the original of this one, and I love it.
Why do I love Shellie? She's just such a sweet, lovable person!
Why do I love this shop? I love the medium - it's fabric on wood, which is so unique and cool. I also love the use of color. I love brights! This art is all so joyful, and I love that!
I've got several prints from this shop and have given several away as gifts.
Why do I love Cindy? She's refreshing down-to-earth and wise - a very cool person.
Why do I love this shop? This black and white art is awesome. Her drawing is so organic and a little wacky here and there. It's like fantasy art without the schmaltz. Just makes me happy.
I get soap here all the time.
Why do I love Pam? She's become a very successful and busy seller, yet she still pays personal attention and obviously appreciates her customers.
Why do I love this shop? This soap is amazing. The presentation is excellent, the packaging is nice (which is important for soap - a bar of soap in an envelope tends to be gross upon arrival), and the scents are amazing! My favorites are cherry freeze, desert sage, dragon's blood, peaches and cream, orange blossom, lemon frosting, pink grapefruit & mint, and sweetgrass. I'll be trying more scents soon - can't really help myself...
A few more shops I love love love:
AWEshop - amazing metalwork jewelry
marciapalmer - polymer clay in earthtones
jellybeans - light rainbow-y watercolors
Check them out!
To read about other EART members' favorite etsy shops, continue the blog ring with pnkgeeni!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Monday, December 14, 2009

Ye olde singoffe on NBC

OK, seriously? Those were the best 8 a cappella groups you could find? Seriously??

First of all, I'm wondering if the yellow sweater Mormons refuse to talk to the Beelzebubs because of the name.

Secondly, I'm wondering if Maxx Factor will get a cease and desist request from the makeup company now that they're on national TV.

Third, I'm wondering if Rockapella or the Swingle Singers were watching and either rolling their eyes or laughing their butts off. Sweet Honey in the Rock is too polite to do either of those things...

Fourth, I'm wondering if anyone else thought the sound in general was off? I'm not a sound guy, but it really seemed to me that a sound engineer used to a cappella music could have balanced every single performance much better. All those judge complaints about the melody not coming out were about how it was mic'ed, so what the hey?

Fifth, I'm wondering if that Pussycat chick is high all the time or just for this show.

So here's my rundown of the groups.

Face I liked them. Don't think they should have been kicked off already. Bummer.

Nota They are the reason I'm going to watch another episode. These guys are awesome.

Noteworthy Ugh. I was stunned when they were chosen to stay. Why oh why do they sing everything all harsh and brash and in your face, thus perpetuating the idea that a women's group can't have range or nuance. Thumbs down, ladies. Cute as buttons, but that was not a good sound. Painful.

SoCals Best costuming for sure! Not that they had much competition in the yellow sweaters, lumberjack chic, nerd convention or ghetto-wear. And oh yeah, the singing. It wasn't bad. They need to chill a little and they'll be brilliant.

Voices of Lee Whatever. Yawn.

Solo Gah! I fell in love with these guys. I hope so much that someone adopts them. The potential there is enormous. If each one of those singers could get an hour of individual training, they would be off and running. Oh, my heart is broken. I want them in my living room right now. But now they've been seen and some awesome musician is going to go scoop them up and set them on their awesome path, right? Wish they could have had one more night.

Maxx Factor Oh, man oh man, I so wanted the middle-aged women to kick butt, and oh boy oh boy, they didn't. First of all, could you possibly pick a more inappropriate song? Oh wait, yes you could - the one they're singing tomorrow. And even with Dancing Queen, all they would have had to do to make it acceptable was take it up a step and a half instead of leaving their bass down there honking around like a honking honker. OK, so yes, I admit it - I have a small bias against barbershop. Still, I can respect it if it's done well. I'd like to believe they're normally better than they were on tonight's show. I'm going to go ahead and believe that so I don't have to be sad.

Beelzebubs Points for a funny name that meets irony halfway. I thought they were good. They need to drop their shoulders, get a little less spazzy, and clean up their pitch issues.

I'm totally disappointed with who went home. I would have ditched both women's groups without hesitation.

I liked Ben Folds. The other two judges and the host just made me roll my eyes repeatedly.

I did think the opening number with everyone together was pretty awesome.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Colors colors colors!

The EART Thursday question of the week is What are your favorite colors to work with? Is it hard to work outside of your favorites? Well, OK, that's two questions.

I love color in general. It's pretty much my inspiration and my starting point for most of my art. Let's see, I guess I would have to say my favorites are bright, clear colors, like your basic roybgiv. (Interestingly, polymer clay doesn't do clear primary colors well, especially red. But I do love the way it can be mixed into almost any shade.)

I can sometimes be talked into muted colors, but mostly it's the brighter the better for me.

My absolute favorite is rainbows. I have been coloring rainbows since I was a kid. I remember folding up white paper into "books" and making entire "catalogs" full of rainbow clothes and shoes. I just loved to draw rainbow clothing. Hmmm, apparently I still do:

See what the rest of the team thinks about colors. Continue reading here at pnkgeeni's blog.

Monday, December 7, 2009

There's still time to shop for Christmas!

For the girly girl

For the Glee fan

For the Firefly fan
For the crafter

For the humbug :)

Monday, November 30, 2009

Online Trunk Show Tonight

The EART etsy team of artists is having a virtual trunk show tonight, Monday 11/30/09, in the etsy virtual labs, in the SKY room - 7:00 PM Eastern time. About a dozen sellers will be showing their items for holiday gifting - cards, jewelry, knitting, polymer clay, all sorts of stuff! Everyone is invited.

Saturday, November 28, 2009


Today was chocolate-covered cherries day. So much fun!

Maraschino cherries - 8 big jars of them - drying out

Goop - butter, corn syrup, juice from the jars of cherries and LOOOOOTS of powdered sugar

Cherries wrapped in goop

Cherries dipped in chocolate - dark chocolate mix of Wilbur dark and Ghirardelli bittersweet

Cherries dipped in Wilbur milk chocolate

Lotsa lotsa cherries - 242 to be exact...
Now they just gotta sit around for a few weeks so the goop can goopify.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

the christians and the pagans

I've been listening to the Dar Williams song, The Christians and the Pagans, and thinking about the holiday season and how it's really OK that not everyone celebrates Christmas. Given the choice, I probably wouldn't. But we all do stuff to keep the family peace, don't we? And of course there's not much work for a choral musician who doesn't do Christmas! Anyway, as generally non-religious as I am, I am somewhat fascinated by the history of holidays and the transplantation of Christian holidays on top of pagan ones.
These are goddess pendants. Could be put on necklaces, hung as ornaments or just kept as little talismans, perhaps a reminder of everything women do to keep the world turning, especially during holidays seasons!

Monday, November 23, 2009

speaking of whatever...

I've re-opened my card shop on etsy, thepaperwhisperer. I'm starting with holiday humor - simple designs, large attitude.

I'm not a huge fan of Christmas, or holidays in general. Some years I get into it a bit, some years not. This year I'm making lots of cards. The nice collage ones recycled from old cards are at my main shop, and these are getting their own home.

Perfect greetings to keep in touch at the holidays even if you're not a fan. Or just to make someone laugh.
Bah Humbug.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

about Glee

So I am a television junkie. My favorites to rewatch are Buffy, Firefly, The West Wing, Six Feet Under, and a few others. The ones I watch (or rent as soon as they come out) are Big Love, Grey's Anatomy, Survivor, Weeds, and a whole bunch of others. Just started The 4400 - has potential.

Anyway, I've been watching Glee since it started. I absolutely loved the first episode, but I feel like it went downhill from there. The characters are so ridiculously cliche. Big fat stereotypes, anyone? Yet I can't help liking some of the them, especially Kurt -he's just so cute. And of course Jane Lynch as the cheerleading coach is hilarious. Still, where is there for the characters to go? I don't see much character development going on, and that's what I dig about good TV. I think that's also why I prefer TV series to movies generally.

I think my main beef with the show is that it isn't what I hoped it was going to be - gasp - the nerve! I wanted it to show the coolness of ensemble singing and how it works, and well, duh, it doesn't. Everyone gets sheet music and is singing in harmony and dancing big complicated choreography within seconds. Yeah. Whatever.

So, complaints and general embarrassment for my TV-watching patheticness aside, I have to say that zinger quotations from shows, brilliant or not, make me happy. I had to make a card.

P.S. Chuck starts up again in January! Woot!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

In the beginning...

It be EART Thursday blog ring time again, and the question is How did you get started doing your art/craft? Well, I'll tell you.

It all started with a friend named Miss Cathy. We saw some of those polymer clay cane work beads, the dolphins and smiles and things like that, knotted into hemp jewelry. We thought, hey, we could make those. Yeah, let's make those...

Then we got this book and started making those. Or, er, something not at all like those. It was harder than it looked. We made canes. We reduced them crooked, we left air bubbles in them, we sliced them with tools not quite sharp enough. We baked our beads anyway and knotted them all up in hemp like the wannabe hippies that we were. And we were proud. We mixed up a bunch of our messups and ended up with an awful lot of teal clay. We listened to a lot of Paul Simon while we worked on the diner-esque kitchen table with the perfect smooth and cool top for clay-rolling. The building shook every time the train went by. We continued to make clay beads in the middle of the night until we got pretty good at it. We even had some kids over from our day care center job to make beads with us. And we took the clay to school and made beads with the kids. All beads all the time.

And that's how it started.

To find out how some other EART team members got their art start, continue reading at PnkGeeni's blog.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

I love the comic book store

Despite the fact that I had never entered a comic book store until Buffy Season 8, I find that I feel very at home there. The little comic book store in my town is owned and run by one guy named Jim, who is sweet as pie.

I was very pleased to take some stuff over there for consignment/display - stake earrings, Firefly necklace, slayer ornament, and of course the vampire slayer penguin.

I'm finding that I love the comic books, and I'm having to hold myself back from buying more. I'm only allowing myself to buy the Buffy and Angel related ones, but I can't help wondering - do I need more superheroes in my life?

Visit and support your local little stores. Their proprietors love what they do!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

had to share

Sometimes you come across an artist that makes you so happy that you can't resist sharing! This is the work of Tenika of Velvet Morning on etsy.

She makes collages in several layers, including antique handwritten letters and texts, ephemera, textures, vintage portraits, acetate, photography, digital effects, etc. She often uses a travel theme, which is partly why it feels like the woman in each piece has her own story. These pieces inspire me to want to write stories. But alas, I'm no good at that, so I'll just admire.

The shop has ACEOs (which are little playing-card-sized bits of art) as well as prints in larger sizes. I definitely want to add at least one (OK, 20) of these pieces to my etsy art collection, but I'm having trouble deciding which!

Visit her shop and take your time. Each piece is an amazing work of art.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Scavenger Hunt - lots of prizes!

The Eclectic Artisans Team has a new team shop. Check it out! To celebrate our new shop and the beginning of the holiday season, we're having a scavenger hunt, and everyone is invited to participate!

Here's how to play: Visit the participating etsy shops (scroll down for the list of shops) and search their items for this photo:

When you find it, send the shop owner an etsy convo letting them know you found it. You can search and enter in each participating shop. You can only win once (we want to share the love as much as possible), but the more shops you enter, the more chances you have to be a winner! Each shop owner will randomly draw one winner at the end of the hunt. That's all you have to do.

The scavenger hunt runs from Friday, 11/13, 2009, to midnight EST on Friday, 11/20/09. Check the EART website on Monday, 11/23/09 to see the winners. Enjoy the hunt!

(Please note: EART members are not eligible to win prizes.) Here's a list of participating EART shops and their fabulous prizes:

Prize: Pair of Lego Earrings & Lego

Prize: Set of four photographic art note cards with envelopes, your choice of images.

Prize: set of four handmade christmas cards

Prize: Platinum Freshwater Pearl Drop Earrings

Prize: set of six handmade embossed christmas cards

Prize: Hammered Copper Adjustable Spiral Ring

Purple Sparkle Crafts
Prize: Sugar Pink Marshmallow Cupcake Candle

Prize: Choice of 2 Bookmarks

Prize: Peacock and Brown Felt Pendant

Prize: Animal print no slip hair clip trio

Prize: $25 gift certificate

Hair Bows Wonderworld
Prize: red velour rose pin-on corsage/buttonhole

Prize: sparrow earrings from MichellesCharmWorld

Questions? Convo divadea on etsy. Thanks for playing!

EART blog ring: holiday specials!

The Thursday EART question of the week is: Do you have any good sales/deals coming up for holiday shoppers?

My recycled holiday cards are a great deal at only $2 each because they're made of old greeting cards and leftover card stock from a wedding. Good deal!

Another good deal to consider is shipping. In my etsy shop, you pay shipping on the first item only, and after that there's no extra charge no matter how many items you buy. Shipping can really drive up costs, so... good deal!

Continue through the blog ring to find sales and holiday specials from other Electic Artisans Team members. Next up - PnkGeeni.

Happy Holiday Shopping!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

penguins, what else is new...

I've started pulling penguin ideas out of a hat. Well, plastic bag, actually. Here are the first few: red hat penguin (oh, the irony of the red hat, but that's a post for another day...), stars and stripes penguin, and baseball penguin.

Here they are before baking.

And here they are after baking. It's like a penguin costume party.

Or a joke. "Three penguins waddle into an elevator..."


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