Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Funky Finds

I met Jess quite a while ago through Flickr and Swap-Bot. We chatted for a while and then decided to set up a private swap. She's one of my favorite people that I've never actually "met."

Jess' day job is a graphic designer. She runs her wonderful website, Funky Finds on her own time.

Funky Finds is a collection of great finds -- well designed, creative products that add a little extra to your life. Jess has a great eye for beautiful, unique items. In a world of big boxes, Funky Finds is a little haven of the individual and the handmade.

Unlike me, Jess is extremely vigilant about posting daily. Every time I visit the site there's lots of new and wonderful finds. She also runs frequent contests to win treats from shops that she's featured.

Take a minute to visit. I guarantee you'll find several things you can't possibly live without. And gifts.... well, it's a great place for gift ideas.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Sneak Attack

I love this idea -- a group of folks get together and plot an "attack" on a new Etsy seller. They set a specific time and at that time, they all purchase something from the new shop.

What a great way to give a boost to a new shop! Can't you imagine how thrilled you'd be to find out you were under that kind of Attack?

Well, Michael Phipps of PhippsArt Etsy shop has come up with a way to make this happen over and over on a regular schedule. He is hosting a site called The Handmade Movement.

Volunteer hosts take care of a specific Attack. They choose a new shop based on specific criteria (0 or only a few sales, some items under $10, the shop has been open for at least several weeks, etc). At a specified time, the name of the shop is announced and the buying begins!

So... tonight I'm hosting the Attack. I've been stalking all sorts of new Etsy shops and have come up with a candidate. It'll be announced on The Handmade Movement website at 7:00 pm EDT.

I hope you'll join us in making October 27 a day this seller will never forget!

Pictured above: the cute little pitcher I purchased in a Sneak Attack about 10 days ago.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

New in the Shop

I've been working to add more items to the Etsy shop as the gift giving (and buying) season gets into full swing.

Here are some of the new goodies...

Rubber Stamps
I love carving rubber stamps. I tend to work tightly and a little too precisely and the medium forces a looser approach. Last week I added a little acorn and leaf stamp to the Etsy shop. I need to make more -- I think there's a good demand for them and not that many Etsy sellers making them. Maybe some more new ones today?

Stamped Notecards
I originally carved these stamps for a Swap-Bot swap with a Chair theme. I just love chairs -- the design of them, how homey and welcome they make you feel. So I made large stamps of four of my favorite chairs: an Eames chair, an Adirondack (Muskoka, if you're in Ontario) chair, a nice simple straight chair, and a comfy armchair for reading or knitting or just relaxing.

Retro Potholders
These potholders also started life as a swap project. The of the reason I do swaps (other than the fact that I love making them and getting mail!) is for the inspiration. Almost everytime I do a swap, I get an idea for something to make and add to the shop.

The fabrics for these potholders have been accumulating in my stash -- many folks know that I love these colors and the Depression era. The go perfectly in my kitchen with the Fiestaware, bakelite flatware, and Hall china. Aren't they fun?

Patchwork Notecards
Ah... the staple of my Etsy shop. I love sewing on paper and the look I get from mixing all sorts of gorgeous papers together into a little paper quilt.

The newest patchwork cards celebrate coffee and take a design from last year and add a new colorway. The papers for the coffee cards make me think of deep, rich espresso, the creamy swirl of milk in a latte, the steam from a delicious cappuccino...

The Christmas (or solstice) cards are a new color version of a design I made last year. The original cards (which I call, "Gather 'Round the Aluminum Christmas Tree") were in pink and green. I love these new colors. They still fit the design well, but give an even more modern look to them (along with the retro/mid-century look I love).

The good news is that the original pink and green card is included on the cover of a new book coming out soon. "1000 Handmade Cards" will be available in January 2009. What fun!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Will Art for Cures

I'm a part of a terrific group of artists entitled Art For Cures who make art to raise money for a number of causes.

Last year the group produced "inchies" (1 inch x 1 inch art) based on the theme, Woman as Goddess. A selection of the inchies have been beautifully framed and are now up for auction on eBay. Sales will benefit Susan G. Komen For the Cure.

The group is based at

They also operate an Etsy shop with art by the group members. Currently it features adorable little crocheted Pop Tart creatures (below left) by Kate. There is lots more merchandise to come soon...

Wouldn't some of these goodies be great as gifts?!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Tag, I'm "It"

I was recently tagged by Home Made Originals, a friend from Flickr and Etsy. I love watching her blog to keep up with all the goodies she creates.

The idea is to tell 6 things that people may not know about me, then tag 5 other bloggers to do the same. So here goes:

1. I collect cookbooks and own (and display and use) over 500.

2. Some of the jobs I've held in my life are: art teacher, buyer for old general store, artist at a magazine, baker, waitress, and museum vice president.

3. I never had a cat until I was an adult. But, as an adult, I have had as many as 15 cats at a time (I'm not so insane as I was when I was younger... only 6 cats now).

4. When I was a child I organized my books according to the Dewey decimal system.

5. About 95% of the time I basically wear one of two pairs of shoes. Merrill sandals in the summer, Birkenstock clogs in the winter.

6. Bob and I are currently trying to recover from Empty Nest shock. The boy got himself a good job (at a well know natural foods grocery chain that treats its employees well), is taking a full load of college classes, and has an apartment with his wonderful girlfriend. We miss him!

That was difficult to think of six!

Now it's time for me to tag. I'm going to pick 5 folks from the EtsyGreetings Street Team:

A Punkin Card Company


Jill Hannah

K is for Calligraphy

Macaroni and Glue

Now it's up to you. Play if you wish. Ignore it if you wish. :)

Manic Monday #137

What is one thing you admire about each of your parents?
I admire my mother's energy and my father's passion for things he enjoys.

Which parts of your home do you like best?
I absolutely adore my home. But my kitchen is probably my favorite part. It is centered around a wonderful stove -- rescued by my builder from a restaurant that went out of business. The backsplash above it is patchworked with tiles from Pewabic Pottery. The cabinets are solid cherry, Amish-made in Shipshewanna (and less expensive than ones from a big box retailer). The floors are cork -- great on your feet. The countertops around the outside are lovely green/grey/black granite. The countertop on the island is locally made maple butcher block. And I collected the knobs on the drawers for years before I had this kitchen. They're all vintage bakelite knobs and drawer pulls.

My collection of Fiestaware peeks out from behind glass-fronted cabinets and adds my favorite colors to the kitchen.

Can you tell how much I love it all?

Which would you prefer and why? To have every stoplight turn green upon your arrival for the rest of your life or to have one week of the best sex any person ever had?
Hmmmm, I'm going to have to think about that for a while... :)