Sunday, January 27, 2008

Dinner makes for Happy Bellies.


My friend Riley and I made dinner the other night, well, he watched, and cut onions and i made dinner. I think it turned out REALLY well though. I love that satisfied feeling i get when i eat something wonderful, and that little extra when i know it's healthy too.

To make this brilliant meal;

The beans were soaking over night and then boiled so they were all ready to saute. Saute enough of them to just cover the pan with some Olive Oil until they are brown [this, is the hardest part for me, i am so impatient!]. Then add some onions for flavor. [It doesn't matter if it's red or white].


Just saute up some mushrooms while your boiling broccoli. I like to add loads of garlic, pepper, oregano and pine nuts to mine, and i wait until the mushrooms get just a little brown. [mushrooms i can wait for, maybe because i love them so!] Then i sauted yellow squash and added tomatos just for a few minutes. Now it's healthy and colorful!

Boil pasta in the broccoli water. It saves time and doesn't affect the pasta much. Tonight, i added lemon, fresh Romano cheese i [i mean Riley] shredded, and probably way to much pesto. Pesto, in my opinion goes on EVERYTHING, and in large quantities.


Now serve and your ready to go! The hardest part is not going back for thirds. :)


Harmonious Paintings!

I was recently introduced to Harmony when she made a comment on my blog. I'm always intrigued when people i haven't met yet find my blog. [even more so, when they post a comment and say hello.] So of course, i had to check out her blog. As soon as i saw the beautiful tea pot paintings, i knew i had to write about her. Harmony has a shoppe called Harmony Vanlue Tanguay and has beautiful oil paintings. Not only does she paint lovely tea pots, but has a great style, painting angles and objects that are sometimes missed in everyday life as art.


1. I have been creating in one form or another all of my life. My mom is a seamstress (and fellow Etsian - uniquelynancy) and my dad is a carpenter, so I don't think a week went by as a kid when we weren't doing some sort of craft project.


2. No, painting is actually a fairly new pursuit for me. I went to school for theatre, graduated and moved to New York. While there, I began figure modeling for artists to make money while I auditioned. I became increasingly interested in the visual arts as a result, and eventually ended up studying with two of the teachers I had modeled for in the fall of 2006. That was my first official art class. I've been painting seriously for about 3 years now.


3. Oh man, so many people and things. I see potential paintings pretty much everywhere I look - the open doorway of my bathroom, the spices on my kitchen shelf, the faces of my friends and relatives, the landscapes of my town. There is really so much beauty everywhere, and in the simplest of subjects. It's overwhelming. I actually have a list of things waiting in line to be painted right now! I'm also inspired by other painters, past and present. Seeing great work inspires me to work harder and improve with every painting I make.



4. It's been challenging for me because art is a tough market to get into, and because this is a relatively new venture for me. Buying art is a very personal experience for people, and I know my work isn't going to appeal to everyone. But I take comfort in knowing that someday the right person will come along and fall in love with one of my pieces and give it a great home! I've gotten wonderful feedback from buyers so far, and that makes it all worth it!


Check out her Etsy site, and look at her paintings of silverware, they are really swell too! :) Oh, and say hello to Harmony, she's very nice!

Friday, January 25, 2008

How Stellar!!


This morning, i hopped on the computer at work and was extreamly excited that my "Rest Easy" chair necklace was being featured! I've never been featured before and it was a brilliant treat! I then checked my messages and Andrea from Munieca told me she featured me. Twas a briliant way to start the day!!

Thank you so much Andrea, you ROCK!

[And Thank You to Riley for [skipping class?] to run to the library to save this Etsy page for me. Your stellar too!]

Bella Bella Jewelry!

I've been chatting on and off for a few months with Linda from Bella Bead Jewelry and have really enjoyed our corespondance. I was first capitvated by her bright colors and funky lamp work style and have been enjoying reading her daily blog since.


1. I've been making beads for several years. I don't know exactly how long since I don't track time well! I'd guess about 8-10 years.


2. I did not always make beads but looking back on my life, beads have always been with me. In High School I made a pair of (heavily) beaded jeans & they were part of a school art show...I wore them for a long time but sadly they are gone somewhere! Before my current bead career I did ceramics & pastels... actually I was an art gypsy. I was a jack of many artistic things. For awhile I did stained glass too.


3. I love color. But so many people can say that. I guess if I dig deeper about myself & color I would say that color is energy and I am typically an energetic person. So color says volumes about my personality. Of course, may other things are inspiring too. Nature, different cultures, music...anything that is emotive or symbolic I find intreging. Lastly but probably most importantly....the children I work with each day inspire me. Watching them joyfully create & loving what they produce inspires me to feel the same about what I it "good" or "bad". Its the process of creating.


4. Challenges....hmmmmm.
Well, here it is....the biggest challenge was to learn to disregard "mean, negative" people. They're out there. Don't get rattled by rejection and as far as "copy cats"....let them. My mother always told me that there is nothing new under the sun (Barnimam Baily quote) and that is soooo true. Its how you put it together that is the original thing & people will have a tough time capturing your spirit. In addition, I would say pricing. Pricing is difficult. There are many ideas on pricing but when I started out I first checked to see what others were getting and then I took into consideration that I was "new" and unknown. So my prices to start were slightly less. Once I was "established" I matched what was competitive.


So, go check out her website, and say hello to her! She is a sweet gal and would love to hear your opinions! :)

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Greek Life..Greek Jewels. :)

Delta Cubed

Looking for a unique idea for your next Greek event??

Throw an origional Sister Hood event. Have a custom jewelry party with your girls!! E-mail me for more information. :)

Ohh...Put a cork in it!

What started off as a search on Etsy for "trees" led me to the intriguing Cat from Uncorked. A clever Etsy shoppe devoted to jewelry crafts made obviously, from cork. :) It was crafting love at 1st site. Her idea is creative, the packaging is the cutest, and her photographs are awesome. Plus, the icing on the cake? This all started out as a science fair project..! Read on...

1. I have been crafting always! I remember my poor mother going to work with a pocketbook made from ziplock plastic sandwich bags covered with purple feathers and having to store her kitchen supplies in decoupaged cereal boxes and fabric covered Pringles potato chip cans!


2. This is the first time I have ever crafted jewelry and I am certainly no jewelry artist! I have always worked with industrial supplies and always sought to re purpose those supplies into something new, unique and beautiful. As a science teacher I started my Uncorked line after receiving an unusually wonderful supply of cork with my test tubes. I found myself rolling the cork around in my hands, reminding myself of the clay I have always loved to work with, and really within a few minutes I had a picture of my jewelry in my head. I wanted to use Uncorked as a way to inspire girls with my love of science and math, especially my crafty girls, who I am always trying to convince of the connections between science and art! I am determined to get my artsy students to see the beauty in Tesla coil, exploding glass and, yes, cork! And I am equally determined to get my computer students to see the beauty in their binary numbers!



3. As a scientist I am continually inspired by the things I do not know. When a student asks a question in a way I had not though about, I get excited. When I hear something I am unfamiliar with, the researcher in me kicks into high gear. I love to google! I am also a born skeptic so I love to experiment. As an artist I am always inspired by the rawness of real emotion and the contrast of color and texture. I have been an artist all my life. College was kind of a crossroads where I choose science as a career because I knew the art would always be there for me (and maybe I copped out a little bit for the money, but just a little bit because I am a teacher after all!).



4. Bringing a craft into the marketplace is a challenge because when you create something you are not thinking - can I sell this? If you are thinking that you will probably never create anything new or exciting. The scope of my pieces changed quickly from science and math themed into the humor and more modern illustration that my wholesale customers requested and those pieces have also been the primary sellers with my retail customers, so my line has evolved from the influence of the marketplace in a way I had not anticipated. It has been a bit of a trade-off to get my work out there. I am still determined to get my science and math themed pieces (UNCORKEDucation) into the hands, or I should say around the necks, of girls though! It may take a bit of good luck to do it, but luckily I am a mad scientist and luck is something I strongly believe in!


If her images alone aren't enough to interest you to go to her Etsy, i don't know what else will! She's a swell gal and would love for you to check out her shoppe! :)

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

What an Artsy Man!

Loving Man

I see these earrings and i think of a sculpture at the museum. It's such a unique charm, and i was excited when i found it.

This Copper man wears his face on his sleeve and has a loving face. Show off a true art piece in earring formation, and proudly wear these Loving Man earrings.

Faux Cakes, Faux Calories

When i saw Jenni from Jenni B's shoppe, my 1st two thoughts were "Hey she has my name!" and "Aww cherry cupcakes!!" so why wouldn't those two facts give me enough reason to blog about her? The funny part is that i never realized how large of a fan base Jenni has. Martha Stewart herself asked Jenni to come and show her audience how to make faux treats. Isn't that amazing?


I've been crafting for a long, long time! My mom ran a seasonal craft fair when I was young and she would let my sister and I make crafts to sell. We thought it was a good deal because she would buy the supplies and we'd keep the money! I think my grandma really bought all of our items because she'd feel bad if we didn't sell anything. As far as faux food goes, I've been making it for less than a year.


I get my inspiration from lots of things! I try to get new ideas every day. My mom and I love to look at magazines together and get fun ideas. I've been looking at a lot of cookbooks to find pictures of yummy desserts. I also love shopping and going to craft stores so I just keep and open and creative mind when I'm out and about. My mom also comes up with new and fun ideas once in awhile that she'll share with me.


Selling your products can be so intimidating!! I think because you make them you have a personal attachment to them. And when someone says something critical about something you've made, you definitely take it to heart! After I finished making my first batch of faux chocolate truffles and cream tarts, I thought they were the cutest things in the world! I thought they belonged in every store! I thought up a list of some of my favorite local stores and set out to sell my wares. My mom was even nice enough to come with me for encouragement. We were out all day. And we weren't getting any takers! I was turned down time and time again. But guess what? The last store I went to (as it was closing up) had the nicest owner. She loved it all and bought every sample I had with me and I walked away with a $200 order for more! You never know what's going to happen.


My advice for anyone starting out with new products is to just believe in yourself and what you have to offer others. Make it a great product.

Back in October I had some items listed in my Etsy shop. Nothing fancy and photographs that were, well....lacking. But I thought my products were cute, even though I didn't have any buyers. Then I got an email from a producer of The Martha Stewart Show. I was sooo ecstatic! That was the biggest compliment I could ever receive for my product. She requested that I call her. Two months later I was on the set of the Martha Stewart Show, meeting Martha herself, and showing her how to make my products on LIVE National Television. Wow! I now have my own local crafting show and have been requested to teach some educational classes next Fall.

You really do never know where your path will take you. Carpe Diem (Sieze the Day)! That's my favorite saying right now. Take the gifts your God has blessed you with and use them.



Your are more then welcome to contact Jenni via her Etsy side or her personal website, :)

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

A charming little Fruit and Tea necklace.

Fruit and Tea Charm

I thought my cute "Fruit and Tea" charm necklace would be a great addition to the last artist interview!! :)

Knit and Tea

When i saw these cute Tea holder at Etsy, i sat back and though, how clever!! At the time, i was bringing tea and sugar to work frequently and had a hard time keeping them all together. Jacqueline from Jacqueline Knitcreated this cute creation, along with fun other knitted items that make life a little more practical and a little more fun!

1) How long have you been crafting?

I've been knitting for as long as I can remember (I was taught by my mother)


2) Did you always craft in this genre?

I've done other needlework like embroidery, sewing, cross stitch and crochet, but knitting is by far my favourite. I'd like to try rug hooking at some point as well.


3) Who or what inspires you?

I like to make things that are useful. My house is at the maximum for space so anything that comes in has to either replace something already there or have a use. So my knitting kind of follows along these lines too. (The fruit jackets stop bruising, the tea bag holder replaces plastic baggies (that's what my friend was using when I thought of the idea to knit her one!), etc.)




4) What challenges have you found while taking your craft into the business world?

Having to learn how to take good quality pictures (I'm still working on this) has been a bit time-consuming and frustrating. Also determining price was difficult at the start. As well, I've still got some work to do on finding various ways to promote my shop.


Head over to Jacqueline's Etsy page and check out the rest of her knitted goodies! :)

Monday, January 21, 2008

One Bird A Hummin'

One Bird A Hummin'

Did you know that hummingbirds are not only the worlds smallest bird, but they also have the worlds fastest metabolism. Their metabolism is so incredibly fast that they need to refuel about every 10 minutes. Each day they consume 50 percent of their body weight just to maintain their normal weight.

These cute multicolored, enamel charms won't help raise your metabolism, but they will bring a smile to your face. They float happily on Sterling Silver ear wires.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Like Munieca To My Ears

Andrea has the cutest shoppe called Munieca. She has these fun little characters she has created that come to life in her colorful earrings and brooches. The best part, and the most original part, is that all of her creations are made from paper. What a nifty paper artist she is!


1.How long have you been crafting?

I think that always did crafts. I remember when I was 3 or 4 years, my mom gave me little potatoes with strange forms. I was painting birds and paces on them. Then until now I love to draw, write and make collages. I really enjoy making things with paper.


2.Did you always craft in this genre?

I always did and do crafts with paper. Love to make sculptures, or use the paper like a support for other things, like paintings, jewelry, etc. I think that the paper is a material very generous.


3.Who or what inspires you?

My mom is a figure important. She is a crafter as well, but I always feel inspired by big artists, crafters that I found on Flickr, blogs and etsy. Always inspired me the oriental culture, like the anime, movies, folklore. So I think my little dolls, the infantil faces, birds and flowers are present in my crafts.


4.What challenges have you found while taking your craft into the business world?

My first challenge was show out my little things to others. Then day by day, I try to renew me and grow up. I can't leave my principal material, the paper, but I always try to create over the created, with that I'm feel comfortable.


I think she's utterly creative, and i know you will as well. Enjoy looking at her Etsy! :)

Friday, January 18, 2008

Coral Tensha

Coral Tensha

Aren't they sweet? I love the Cherry Red color mixed with the romantic flower collage. Just dangily enough. :)

See the Spray Blue Artwork.

Katrin from Sea Spray Blue is a wonderful painter. I was interested in her work once i saw her "..And then he kissed me." print.

1. I've been drawing since August 2007. I sold my first print in the beginning of September 2007.


2. Before August 2007 I've been more into photography. I really enjoyed working the whole night alone in my own dark room (our bathroom). Also I had specified plans for a short movie with my friends.


3. Music inspires me. Some years ago I was listening to the Morrissey song "Lifeguard sleeping girl drowning". After listening I had a picture in my mind how I imagine the scenery of this sound. I kept it in my mind for three years and then painted it in acrylic as a gift for my boyfriend. Now it's hanging in our living room.
Also going for a walk with my little son in his baby buggy and looking at the surroundings or people. 'I can wait' came into my mind this way.
And in the very moment before falling asleep there are sometimes pictures that come into my mind. The most impressive ones I can still remember when I wake up again. For the 'coming home' print I even switched the light on again.



4. Until now I found no challenges. Far from that. I'm glad that some people like you find my artwork and make it visible to a broader community beyond etsy. I've never done a bigger promotion (except on etsy) by myself. But this year I go for having my own first website. I guess this will be my first challenge in my new artwork life.


She has many other beautiful prints and cards for sale in her Etsy shop. I think you will find them inspiring! :)

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Day Off = Vacation

This past Holiday season i was working like a mad women. At least 50-60 hours a week, i would drive from job to job and felt like clasping every minute i had free. I saw no friends and did nothing else but work and try to calm down. This past Monday i had my 1st REAL full day off, and boy did it feel like a vacation! Better then a vacation.

Monday was my perfect day. :)


It was really chilly, and i did try to roller blade, but only made it for 10 minutes. It was a gorgeous day though, and i was quite thankful for it.

Oh Honey! You'll LOVE this tea!

I went over to my favorite place! Infusion Tea, it's the most serene place, and i got a TON of work done while there. They are a sweet tea shop, with brilliant food and even better service! They have THE BEST cookies [see below] and they are hands down, my favorite guilty pleasure.

THE best cookie!


My mom came up to see me a couple days prior and took me out for a swanky lunch. This is my leftovers. Aren't these the prettiest leftover's you've ever seen? Crab stuffed shrimp, three-cheese risotto, roasted asparagus, and a stuffed olive. The restaurant we went to was a cute little place called "Hot Olives" in Winter Park. I highly recommend it. It's quaint and the food is wonderful!



I came home from the tea house, and did more work, listened to Brian's podcast, and waited for Courtney to come over.


Courtney is one of those brilliant people you have to wait in line to finally hang out with. I would keep waiting, because she is a great person, a fun friend to hang out with, and shares my passion for going on walks. She is also a photo junkie, which helps bring out my creative side photographicly.


All in all, i had a most pleasent day, i can't wait to have another one!! :) Hello Monday!