Sunday, October 10, 2010

Sunday Morning Coffee and Etsy – 10/10/10

LavenderLatteCrop Good morning!  Well, I just couldn’t let a date like 10/10/10 go by without a blog post.  Yes, I have been very sporadic this year in my blogging, haven’t I?  Last post was 8/29/10 – I need to do better – I still find lots of gorgeous new things on Etsy, and I feel bad for not sharing them more often.  So, let’s get started on today’s wonderful collection…..

I happened across this shop a while ago, and quickly saved it to my favorites.  The message and the look inspire me – Less and LessandMoreChopstickHolderMore.  I am on the verge of a gigantic decluttering of my house and studio, and although my style is not modernist, I love the clean simplicity of  these beautiful and very useful pieces.  I can  definitely use a few of these mixed in with my cottage style decor.  Some of these can double as sculpture too.  The chopstick holder is wonderful – LessandMoreDeskOrganizermuch better than hiding them in a drawer.  Makes me want to go out and buy some fancy chopsticks.  Not only that, now I’m craving Chinese food! 

What I really need, though is one (or many) of the desk organizers.  I especially like the nice-sized Crafting Cindy version.   Both my shipping desk and my jewelry bench would benefit greatly from a few of these.  

I’m considering moving my studio out of the basement and into LavenderCusion what is now my packing and shipping room/bird room.  I’d love to be upstairs, and it would be fun to be able to actually have “decor” that inspires me rather than cold cement walls.  I came across this wonderful embroidered lavender pillow in the shop of Polkadots and Blooms.  What a great name for a shop filled with wonderful, and yes, very useful, fabric treasures!  

These handy little cloth storage baskets (small size pictured here – the also come in medium and large) would definitely help out my PolkadotsandBloomsBaskets clutter issues and look great while doing it.  The exterior fabric is mangle cloth, a vintage linen fabric  between 60 and 100 years old.


I was also thrilled to find a shop, The Creative Gene,  this morning that sells handmade cotton dishcloths.  My mother started making similar ones for me years ago, and I am totally addicted to them now.  Unfortunately my Mom doesn’t always have time to keep making me more of them.  VioletDishcloths I fell in love with this lovely stack of 3 discloths aptly named Violet Petals.  My kitchen has a wallpaper border of potted violets, so these are completely perfect!

You’ll find other beautifully made items in this shop such as baby blankets, hats, and this wonderful crocheted storage basket that is a perfect fit for storing your handmade dishcloths!  Now I’m totally inspired to go do the dishes and clean up the kitchen – have a great week everyone! 

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Sunday Morning Coffee and Etsy 08/29/10

LavenderLatteCrop The weather is beginning to cool ever so slightly, and the anticipation of Fall is definitely in the air for me.  Fall has always been my favorite season.  Even though it’s been longer than I care to admit since my school days, I still get that ‘back to school’ feeling of a fresh start that  brings on  a  surge of creative energy.

So, freshly inspired by the cool breeze and the upcoming season, I actually IceWhisperCropmade something new for the shop this week!  The design idea for this ring, which I have named Ice Whisper,  has been in my head ever since I made my Galadriel’s Dream cuff a couple of years ago.  I’ve always planned to take the concept into a whole series of pieces.  I particularly enjoy forging the organic '”torn” look  -  it gives me a chance to play with my wonderful Fretz hammers.      This ring is definitely my new favorite, and there will be more with colored stones – especially the gorgeous ApricotSapphiresCrop

apricot sapphires that my stone supplier just got in.  This color looks good enough to eat!!  

Speaking of gorgeous stones – I’ve had the Glimmering Gems Etsy shop in my favorites for quite a while, now.  I follow them on Twitter, too, so I always know when they get something new in.  Their shop carries truly inspiring and unusual rocks and gems from the mines of Uruguay and GlimmeringGemsAmethystGeodeBrazil.   I discovered this breathtaking Amethyst Agate Geode Sphere the last time I was browsing through their shop.  What a  stunning specimen!!  It measures 86mm (about 3 inches in diameter).  I would so love to have this in my collection!  I’ve always been partial to amethyst in any form, and the wheels are turning in my mind on a way to use their beautiful stones in one of GlimmeringGemsSliceMine my designs.  This gorgeous stalactite slice is on its way to me as we speak.  I’m inspired already, and can’t wait to put hammer to metal for a setting that will hopefully do justice to it!


Something else that I always get excited about is Steampunk and Victorian inspired jewelry.  I found the most incredible shop this week  -  Aranwen’s Jewelry, created by Vicky from Athens, Greece.  There are so many beautiful designs in her shop, I didn’t know what to look at first!    I’ve always loved unique watches, AranwenSilverWingsWatch though, so her cuff watches are something that I am definitely drooling over.  My favorite is the stunning  Silver Wings design – I’m in love with it!  Might have something to do with the cute little amethyst rhinestones will coordinate nicely with the colors in that yummy stone that is on its way in the mail.

Another cuff watch in her shop that I absolutely love is the beautiful brass Baroque Goddess design.  A more petite design, AranwenBaroqueGoddessWatch this one has a lovely romantic feel to it that is hard to resist.   Vicky creates each one of her pieces herself from a unique array of gorgeous components, and her talent for creating unique beauty is apparent in every piece in her shop. 

Well, coffee is done, and I’d better get the day started, so I’ll wish everyone a great week!  Talk to you soon……..

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Sunday Morning Coffee and Etsy – 08/15/10

LavenderLatteCrop Good Morning!  Hope you are having a wonderful weekend wherever you are.   It’s still hot here, but I see that perhaps it won’t be in the mid 90’s every day for too much longer.  I can’t believe I’ve made it this far through a summer in the South with no air conditioning.  I’m considering it “character building” – never say I don’t suffer for my art!  But even this doesn’t make me consider going back to the corporate grind – I love what I do, and business is growing.  It will be fixed for next year, of that I am sure!

With keeping cool on my mind so much these days, I thought I’d FootCandleImages_VintageFando an Etsy search for “stay cool” and see what came up…….

First thing that caught my eye was this great photo of a vintage  fan from the Foot Candle Images shop.   What a treat to discover the work of the very talented Rhonda Peters.   Her shop has a lovely mixture of photographic styles from sharp and colorful to ethereal landscapes and


mesmerizing closeups.  I think my favorite of all is the tranquil beauty of this lily pad in Magnify – just looking at it  makes me feel cool and serene. 

Another search for “summer cool” brought me to the Soul Song Creations shop, and this really wonderful and unique serpentine and rustic brass necklace.  What a great mix of colors in a classic little necklace!  As I browsed through the other SoulSongEarthyBrass treasures in this shop, I fell in love – I have definitely saved in my favorite shops list!   Her work with texture and color is just inspired.  Another necklace that I loved is this painted brass disc that has been paired with dusty rose jasper.  Exactly my style, and I think I’m going to SoulSongPaintedBrass have to have this one!  It makes me want to go out and stroll in the garden right this minute in my white linen sundress…..  wait, let’s do a search now for “white linen sundress”.  Yep, I knew something good would turn up – here it is, from the Toccata shop:  White Orchid Linen Dress  and it can be ToccataWhiteOrchidDresscustomized in any size.  I can see either one of the Soul Song Creations necklaces adorning this lovely dress.   Toccata’s shop is  located in Manila, and is actually a bridal shop with some really fabulous custom made wedding dresses along with .  Check out the Rambling Rose You can see the complete wedding gown collection at her Michi Calica website.

Toccata_RamblingRoseWeddingDress And so my Etsy travels end for today.  We started with a vintage fan and ended up with bridal gowns.  You just never know what direction you’ll travel when you start browsing through Etsy. 

So, the cool of the morning fades, and I’m turning on the 2nd fan.  Time to retire to the basement studio.  Have a great week everyone!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Monday Morning Inspiration 08/09/10

BeesOnConeflower The world is filled with inspiration if you take just a moment  out of your day to look.  My friends and I often talk about how none of us has any time for the things we used to take for granted like a spur-of-the-moment weekend getaway, simple shopping trips, taking in a movie, basically just taking the time to enjoy one another’s company.  We are all just so Busy. All. The. Time.    Busy as Bees.

I don’t even have an excuse – I work for myself at home, and I STILL don’t have any free time.  So I have decided to simply start taking the time to enjoy the things that make me happy, and sharing them here on my blog.

One of the things that has always made me happiest is music – all kinds of music.  To say that my taste in music is ‘eclectic’ is an understatement -  chaotic might be a better word, lol.  Anyway, much of what inspires me is related to music, and although I don’t have the money that I used to have for purchasing new music, I am still able to find plenty of it on the internet, both old favorites and new discoveries. 

I’ve been a fan of Vangelis since the early 80’s and have just about every one of his album releases.  I’d never looked him up on You Tube, though, silly me!  My all time favorite Vangelis composition is “Message” from his "Direct" album, and I thought it would be perfect for this week’s Monday Morning Inspiration.  You can’t help but be pumped for the week after listening to this!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Sunday Morning Coffee and Etsy 8/8/10


I hope everyone is enjoying this warm August morning.  I must admit it’s been a bit toooo “warm” here in East TN this summer – hope it’s better where you are!  For me, the good news is that fall is in sight, only weeks to go now….. Meanwhile, I am spending quality time with my fan, and trying not to melt, ha ha.


Now, on to the Etsy treasures that inspired me this morning.  First is a pottery (yes, I’m still addicted to pottery, can’t get enough!)  shop that I recently discovered – Village Clayworks, which showcases the whimsical work of Catherine Reece.  Soft cool pastels and charming birds and bugs adorn her pieces, and you reeceBirdBowlcan’t help but smile when you look at them.   I love every one of her pieces, even the cockroach cereal bowl (not so sure I could eat cereal from it, though!)  My favorites are her bird pieces, though, especially this Bowl with Birds Around.    This reeceBirdBowl2 smaller Bird Bowl is on my wish list, too – in fact, I think a whole set of dishes in this pattern would be great fun!

And if you are looking for an unusual gift, perhaps one of her mugs like the Dung Beetle Mug or the Praying Manis Mug will be just the thing.  These little gems even include a helpful little inscription about their subjects.  Cute!

I have always loved birds – both in art and in life, and when I saw Artocard_Icarus this  gorgeous seagull photo, titled Icarus,  in an Etsy treasury, I immediately marked it, and ArtoCard’s shop, as favorites.   Another of my favorite photos from her shop is titled Hover.  The perfect focus and the way the light reflects off the wings is amazing.  Makes me want to concentrate on getting better at my Artocard_Hover photography.  I have so many wonderful opportunities for great bird photos in my own back yard, but alas, I am the world’s worst wildlife photographer!   Definitely take a browse through the ArtoCard shop to check out other amazing photos of birds and other wildlife.  She is able to capture movement like very few photographers I’ve seen.

Since I had birds on my mind this morning, and I have been looking for a new handbag since the zipper on my favorite bag is now broken, I thought I’d do a search for bird handbags and see ArtisticAccessories_BirdBag what I could find.  I was delighted to find this brand new Etsy shop, Artistic Accessories, that specializes in hand painted bags.   This little bird bag especially caught my eye since the leaves on the branch match the new copper pendant design that I put in my shop this week (and no zipper to break, either).  I love making those heart shaped leaves, and it’s great to find accessories that also use a similar shape.   AutumnMorning5

I think I’ve inspired myself to go down and create something new today while I am working on getting a good start to the coming week’s orders.  I’ve had some new leaf designs in my head for a while that need to be brought to life in time for fall.  So, time to get to work!  Hope you all have a wonderful Sunday!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

A Quick Wave and a Promise of more soon….

I thought I’d better wave Hello and sweep out the cobwebs before everyone thinks I’ve abandoned my blog for good, lol!  I’ll be back to regular blogging soon – I’m starting to feel like writing again, and I’m also feeling the urge to get going on some new jewelry designs – yes, long overdue!  

I’m looking forward to resuming  the Sunday Morning Coffee and Etsy posts, too – I’ve got quite a stash of lovely treasures to feature stored away in my blogging folder.  DragonflyRakuBowl

I just found this lovely dragonfly bowl today in a great Etsy shop called  DeBaun Fine Ceramics.  What gorgeous colors – I’m inspired to do a new stacking ring set in these yummy blues and greens now.

I’ve spent most of the spring and summer working hard in the studio on wholesale and custom work in addition to regular orders, and am still struggling with a better plan to get pieces finished and out the door sooner.  I really love doing everything by hand, even the polishing, but I’m starting to see the need for a tumbler, at least for stacking rings and bangles.   Maybe….we’ll see.   There’s just something so satisfying about hand polishing for me. 

CompletedRing One of my favorite custom pieces was this lapis ring embellished with a great pair of lions.  This one was hard to part with – I may have to make myself something similar.  I’ve got more of these nifty little lions (as well as a bunch of other stunning little 3-D silver goodies) that I’m looking forward to using in some new pieces when I get a chance.

So, that’s it for now, but I’ll see you soon – promise!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Sunday Morning Coffee and Etsy 04/05/10


Happy Easter Sunday to all of those who celebrate.   I hope it is a glorious morning where you are – it surely is here!  I’ve got my lavender latte in hand, and am taking a wee little break from my busy Easter Sunday  with a browse through my latest Etsy discoveries.

One of these recent new discoveries is Ethereal Art, the shop of  hugely talented artist, Marcia Snedecor.  Her work is dreamy and magical, and is the type of art that has a different meaning to all who look upon it. 

My DelicateBalanceIV_Ethereal favorite in her shop is a lovely piece titled “Delicate Balance IV”.   I just can’t stop looking at it – it reminds me of everything I love about nature, which is indeed a delicate balance of many pieces. 

In addition to original art, her shop also offers note cards using many of her  paintings.  Ive always been a lover of spirals in any form, so the card titled “Guardians” is one of my favorites.    The following is from her description of the work:  "This piece of art was inspired Guardians_EtherealArt by the Golden Mean, a ratio that celebrates a harmonious relationship pf parts to a while. The ratio is roughly depicted in the spiral shell. Archways combine two geometric shapes, cube and chalice, and symbolize the triumph of the spirit. Identical twins present a mirror image and symbolize perfect balance inner harmony and Oneness. The golden spiral, our sacred path, is the guarded treasure."  Do be sure and visit Marcia’s  own website where you can see more of her lovely work.  

These  beautiful paintings remind me a bit of the amazing work of bead artist Kerri FuhrKerriBeadsDragonflyFocalIt’s been a while since I have visited her Etsy shop, so I took a look this morning to see what  she’s been up to lately.  I first fell in love with her work a couple of years ago when I purchased one of  her dragonfly beads.  I think I need another one, and this lovely bead on a background of ivory tapestry is a stunner.  

KerriBeadsBumblebees She has bumblebees, too, which I might like even more than her dragonflies.  Check out this amazing set with a large focal, two smaller matching beads, and several little accent beads.  Oh, what I’d like to make with these!   New this year in Kerri’s shop are her lovely horse beads, as detailed as tiny little paintings,  just like the Kerribeads_horse bees and dragonflies.  This beauty in shades of white and grey is just begging to be made into an incredible necklace.    I used to have an Arabian horse, and this bead reminds me of one of the greatest of all – Nazeer.  My sweet little bay filly was one of his great-great-great granddaughters.   Hmm, I think this gorgeous spring weather we’re having is making me want to go riding.  Wow, I wonder if I remember how – its been years! 

Alas, it’s time to stop daydreaming and get on with my day, so on that note, I’ll say goodbye for now…….

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Saturday Night at the Market – 04/3/10

j0336633 It was a glorious day of balmy air and spring breezes , and  lawn care season officially began today with the  annual First Starting of the Mower.  Now, I admit, I am a very neglectful mower owner.  There was still a little gas in it from last summer, and to add insult to injury, I topped it off with more old gas from what was left in the can unused all winter.  I did not clean the spark plug.  I said a small prayer and pulled the cord.  (yes, I have a non-self-propelled push mower with a pull cord starter).  It was a miracle – 3 pulls and I was mowing!  I should be ashamed of how I treat my poor mower especially since it treats me far better.   So now I sit here on my couch with the smell of freshly mowed wild onions drifting in through the open window happy with the knowledge that my lawn will be lovely for Easter Sunday. 

VermontSoapFreshCutGrassSpeaking of the smell of fresh cut grass – check out this great  looking  cold processed soap I found while ‘armchair shopping’ tonight at 1000 Markets.  From the shop of Southern Vermont Soap, this one is actually called Fresh Cut Grass – I just  had to smile when I saw it! 

VermontSoapManukaHoneyLavenderThis great shop is filled with irresistible looking  soaps that are also gorgeous to look at.  No doubt that I’ll be ordering soon!  One I’d definitely like to try is the Manuka Honey Lavender with goat’s milk, also a cold-processed soap.  Soap making is a passion at Southern Vermont Soap.  Not only do they use the best ingredients, but they are always happy to explain more about the their cold and hot process soap making.

I found another lovely soap shop tonight,too - Enchanted Soap Favors.    What a refreshing twist for wedding or shower FlowerSoapFavors1favors – gorgeous soaps that look like flowers!   This lovely white flower, made of soap, measures approximately 3." It is decorated with the ribbon color of your choice and white beads. A "Thank You" charm is attached as well.   The hand carved leaf base, also made of soap, measures approximately 5" from left to right.   These little beauties are the perfect accent for a lovely spring wedding!

E325_weddingnitec And speaking of weddings – I just have to show you the exquisite “Wedding Nite” earrings from my friend Sandra’s shop – Preserve Jewelry Studio.  Sandra specializes in earrings, and if you’re an earring addict like me, you will love her shop!   (be sure to check out the great necklaces, too)  Her work is meticulous and top quality- I have several of her earring designs, and now have E327_lemonteaamy eye on the lovely Wedding Nite design,  as well as the delightful pair, new for Spring,  titled “Sweet Lemon Tea”.   I love the pretty pale yellow against the tea-colored crystal rondelles.  Simple. Elegant. Perfect.  And nobody can have just one!

Have a great Saturday, and I hope the Spring Breezes are blowing your way…

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Sunday Morning Coffee and Etsy – 3/14/2009


I’ve decided my little stoneware mug of lavender infused coffee will be the new icon for the Sunday morning Etsy posts.  Right now, I’m using delicious lavender buds from Blossom Farm, but come May, I’ll be using my own fresh lavender.  I’m so looking forward to spring blooms (hopefully they’ll be on their way soon!). 

I’ve mentioned before that I’m hoping to have a booth at our MoonblossomSignworks2 Greeneville Farmer’s Market this year.  Lot of work to do to get a booth together, beginning with a great sign that will represent the feeling and look I hope to evoke in my work.  I was delighted to find the work of Moonblossom Signworks while searching on Etsy.  Exactly what I’ve been looking for!!  I have a vision of my booth-to-be that is a perfect combination of whimsy, elegance and cottage garden – just like the wonderful artwork created by Beth Brown.   You can see more of  Beth’s wonderful work on her website. In addition to Completed_Sky_Dome_2-1 signs, she offers gifts, murals and trompe l’oeil, and even painted furniture.  I’m a big fan of trompe l’oeil, and absolutely love this soaring dome painted as a sky that is featured on her website.

Another recent Etsy discovery was the gorgeous felted handbags by Daimblond.  I especially love the bag she has done inDaimblondFeltedBag1 shades of black, white and grey, embellished with french lace. Looks like it’s a great match for the soft gray found in the Spring 2010 fashion colors!   Another great bag in her shop is done in a cool, fresh blue and beige combination, also perfect with this spring’s new colors.  I especially love the way the beige blends into the blue – reminds me of the waves racing up into the sand at the waters edge.  And the little hand-felted DaimblondFeltedBag2 shell is the perfect icing on the cake!  This very talented fiber artist is originally from Moscow, and currently living in France. She is a member of both the Etsy European Street team and the Russian team.  One of my favorite parts of being a part of the Etsy community is that it is, indeed, a global marketplace in every sense of the word.   

Speaking of the global marketplace and Etsy teams, I must mention that I am now a proud member of the FTEC team on Etsy.  I’m so excited to be a part of this incredible group of savvy  business owners!   I’ll be doing an entire post on this great team in the near future.   RealisationCreationsHeliodorHowever, I just couldn’t resist featuring this sweet little Bumblebee necklace from the Art Jewelry collection in the shop of Realisation Creations.  I fell in love with it the minute I saw it, and I bet you will, too!   Natalia hails from Adelaide, Australia, and is a wonderfully talented wire artist.  She has been creating jewelry for about 9 years, and her pieces are a wonderful mix of unusual beads, vintage glass, luxe gemstones, ceramics and both Bali and Karen silver.   You can read more about her in this Etsy article.    RealisationCreationPearls

I’ll end this post with one more little treat from Natalia’s shop – her classic little Rococo pearl earrings.  Simple, but none the less stunning, these South Sea Shell pearls are an affordable little wardrobe staple that no woman should be without!

Hope everyone has a wonderful week – talk to you soon!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Saturday Night at the Market 03/13/2010

My favorites folder at 1000 Markets is bursting at the seams with great new finds I’ve been squirreling away.  I recently came across a new potter, much to my pottery addict’s delight.  A Fine Mess is the Purple_red_ice_cream_bowlsFineMess name of  Lori Watts’  wonderful shop filled with pots, mugs, bowls, and more.   I saw her scrumptious purple and red ice cream bowls and fell in love.  I can just picture how gorgeous a bit of honey lavender ice cream would be served in those bowls.  Of course, as one who enjoys a good cup of coffee from time to time, (ok, I admit it, I’m addicted to both coffee and ice cream) I had to check out the mugs as well.  CappucinoMug_FineMessPottery Who wouldn’t love a cappuccino served in this fabulous stoneware mug embellished with swirly little tan buttons?   And, of course, all Fine Mess Pottery products are lead free, food-safe, ovenproof, as well as  dishwasher and microwave safe;  just perfect for those of us who like to use their great pottery rather than just stand back and admire it.

Something else that I’m keeping my eyes open for these days are new pillows for my living room.  I love that comfy, cozy feeling that lots of pillows bring to a room, as well as just a touch of what I like to think of as “elegant cottage”.  ElegantHomeDecorBlogPhoto Someday I hope my house will be a true “elegant cottage”!  I was delighted to discover the luxurious down pillows in the shop of Elegant Home Decor.  Each lovely pillow is hand sewn in top quality fabrics collected over the past 18 years.  The shop blog describes them perfectly:   “ the overall look is always comfortable, stylized, and totally affordable luxury”.   Many of the pillows are one of a elegant_home_decor_11kind, but available in collections of coordinating fabrics and  pillow shapes that look wonderful together.    I’ve added this lovely full blown rose print pillow to my favorites.  A perfect start for what I hope will be a whole collection to snuggle into!

And speaking of elegant – these amazing Garlande earrings from Edera Jewelry caught my eye as I was checking out the 1000 Markets home page tonight.   I can just picture (a much skinnier version of)  myself  Garlande_Earrings_FL2draped across my elegant pillows in a lovely romantic gown while wearing these earrings.  Such is the stuff of dreams……   oops, back to reality here….   Ivy Long, the artist behind Edera Jewelry has been creating her stunning designs for over 10 years.  The influence of her milliner mother, a love of fiber arts and historical costume combined with the use of crochet and lacemaking techniques have resulted in exuberantly beautiful designs.  I’ll leave you with one more lovely pair – the Mirielle Bon Bon earrings.  Perfectly gorgeous. 

Mireille__Earrings_SideUntil next time – have a lovely weekend.  Hope your Saturday night was a good one!