Wednesday, September 30, 2009

The Kraftho has arrived!

Kraftho is finally on Etsy! I saw her work (and she ain't no ho btw) at the Folk Art Festival and it's very cozy and amazingly sturdy. Click the picture to go directly to the listing.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Stories from a Diplomat's Jewel Box

Oooh, now here's a book I want to read: Read My Pins: Stories from a Diplomat's Jewel Box by Madeline Albright. The cover shows her wearing a Statue of Liberty pin with eyes made of two clocks -- one is upside down and other is rightside up. Click the Browse & Buy button on the publisher's website for a nice peek (though slow-loading!) at some of the jewelry in the book.

The Museum of Arts & Design show by the same name opens Sept. 30.


Sunday, September 27, 2009

Rather extravagant use of antique steel cut beads

I'm making paper ornaments. I used Terrifically Tacky Tape
(thank you Dustin) along the bottoms and started out sprinkling
on colored mica flakes and other oddities I had in my
"bought it at China Phoenix II, still don't know what it's for"
drawer. Then I went poking through my tiny vintage beads
and couldn't resist using some steel cuts straight off the hank
(thank you again Dustin).

Here's a sampling. They are not quite finished... Need dangles.
Must prepare angelic dangles.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Personal Strengths Test for Women

My sis just sent me this link:

I have taken a find your strengths test before but I like this one a lot. It's a scenarios-based survey, with results, by Marcus Buckingham, author of other work-from-your-strengths type books. His new book is called "Find Your Strongest Life: What the Happiest and Most Successful Women Do Differently."

I don't want to share my results right away but apparently the results range along these "types":

Advisor, Caretaker, Creator, Equalizer, Influencer, Motivator, Pioneer, Teacher, and Weaver

If you want to share your results by commenting on my blog, feel free!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Why I love Etsy

Of course, I do make a bit of money over there. And I can maintain my shops in my spare time, season to season, as I have the time. Sure, you'll hear advice about listing something every day in order to get noticed and relisting to show up higher in the search results, and posting to the forums a lot to become "known" -- all things I never do. I don't even check to see if I ever make the home page anymore. People seem to find me. And the people who do are SO nice.

That's why I love Etsy. This week I returned home from a crazy weekend trip to Cruces, arriving very late on Saturday night (aka Sunday morning), then got up a few hours later and worked at the Folk Art Festival all day. Then Monday night I had class at UNM.

For most of the week my internet and phone were on and off, mostly off, thanks to the heavy rains and my late 1940s house. Every time I'd go to get online, the internet would be down. Then it would come on long enough for me to see that something had sold, but not long enough to actually print out the receipt.

Finally today I shipped 10 packages. Then I emailed the customers to let them know I was not so quick on the draw this week, and so far everyone who's emailed me back has been not just cool with it, but extraordinarily NICE. So far, I've heard back not to worry, that a thing called life happens, and not only that but peace and light and all kinds of other just nice things. That's why I love Etsy. It's a people thing. 8-)

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Giant Puppet Samba Parade!

Today I shot about half a gig of photos and video of OFFCenter's 7th Annual "We Art the People" Folk Art Festival and Giant Puppet Samba Parade. One of the samba guys said he thought it was the best one ever. The guys stayed all day and played for a really long time after the parade. They even left their drums set up around the music tent and played with the other bands too! I've just started going through the pictures and hope to be able to edit the video down to short snippets pretty soon.

This was a mother and daughter, hanging out and dancing after the
parade. The mom had the face mask and the daughter had a great
fish-topped costume thing going on! They were really short
compared to all the ginormous tall puppets.

This is, I assume, sister and bother.
The boy was really cute about posing for me.

The band was really great -- they rehearsed, along with a group of
samba dancers, before the parade so they looked really awesome
coming down the street. This photo was taken in the park after the parade.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Rainy Road to Las Cruces

I do not like that stretch of road around Soccorro-Elephant Butte because we always seem to run into awful weather and bad memories of pile ups and freak hailstorms. Yesterday, thankfully, it was just a heavy rain, which brought out the wonderful smells of sage and chapparal.
Then beyond the storm the sun was setting and the clouds were so varied and awesome. I got lots of subtle sky shots that will make nice backgrounds.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Paper Potpourri Boxes

Dabbling in making potpourris with organic herbs & essential oils,
and decorating the containers to hold them.
This colorway holds "Summer in the City"

Paper is a bit fragile perhaps, but nice because the scent
permeates the whole container.

The paper is easy to paint, stamp, draw, and embellish,
as long as you don't get things too wet.


Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Happy Meal Toy for my Inner Child

I love children's board books, clever little art kits marketed to children, and all their pockets, nooks, places to tuck things in and other interactive features. Well, this weekend I have been down with a cold so I asked the DH to pick me up some junk food ("Junk feed a cold, starve a fever"?). He brought me a McDonald's Happy Meal (yes, with fries and boy did they taste wickedly good). Inside the Happy Meal was my girly prize -- an American Girl book/toy.

I just love this kind of packaging and wish I could make, or at least, in some parallel lifetime, design this stuff (the foldover spork wasn't book-related but it was truly brilliant). And this package so appeals to my inner girlie-girl child. If you're not familiar with American Girl dolls, they are really big with the not-so-Barbie set right now, and each doll has a story behind it that tells a chapter in U.S. History.
Now, back to this awfully cute book (click the pictures for slightly larger images) --
It came tied in a cute silky ribbon bow, which unfortunately I couldn't retie. It opens up into a short, glossy text weight accordion book that tells the story of the girl.
Inside the front cover are some activities -- a little drawing lesson and a trivia quiz.

Inside the back flat is a pocket. Oh my gosh! There are three versions of a small cardstock paper doll, a sheet of stickers, a few accessories, and a couple of tags which I presume you're supposed to put the stickers onto.
And now if you'll exscuse me, I need to call the DH to see if McDonald's has more styles this week or if I have to wait! If you see me waddling down the street, it's because my inner child went back for too many Happy Meals!

Monday, September 7, 2009

Grabbed by nomadcraftsetc for a Treasury

Hey! A local artisan grabbed a bunch of Albuquerque-area work for her Etsy Treasury. She's nomadcraftsetc and she's from Tijeras.

Etsy Treasury

as seen on Etsy


Sunday, September 6, 2009

More about Johanna and the Beetle Wings

Johanna Seppa really brightened my Sunday morning with an email follow-up about herself and her finished necklace she'd promised to show me. I had asked her to tell me a bit about herself and her inspiration for using the elytra beetle wings she purchased from my Etsy shop. The necklace pictured here matches the earrings I posted earlier.

Johanna says . . .
I am Johanna Seppa from Finland. I was asked to tell something about myself and my jewellery. Well, it is just a hobby. I am an archaeologist and I have made replicas of stone age tools for museums. I like to use very primitive materials also for my jewellery, something weird, wonderful and exotic. I was very happy to find these insect wings, they were just perfect! I use modern materials too. I like to find new purpose for old things and make recycled and found objects jewellery from all the “trash” I collect.
It’s so much fun to play with lots of colours and shapes. Some of my other hobbies are felting, freeform crochet, basketry and quilting. I especially like to combine different techniques. I’m sorry I don’t yet have a blog of my own, but I am glad I had this opportunity to
introduce myself to you all!

I made the earrings and necklace using organic materials only, nettle string, parrot feathers, different jungle seeds, bone beads and beetle elytra.

I wanted to have something that reminds me of the Amazon jungle.
Thank you Johanna for the inspiration -- and for sharing how your jewelry designs are connected to your life's work.