Friday, February 29, 2008

So and Sew Crafty

At So and Sew Crafty you can find medical scrubs, baby bibs and burp cloths, bags and totes, quilts and throws, and a nice variety of household accessories. But the three darling creatures I've included here are my favorites.

Easter Bunny Basket, $22 (eggs included!). What a terrific alternative to those cheap (and ugly) plastic ones!

Chicken Pillow, $10. Isn't there a TV show about these? All My Chickens?

Ella Funt, $30. Elephants with trunks pointing up are good luck, and what a sweet good luck symbol Ella is!

Free Leap Day Shipping!

As I tortured myself debating all the options for celebrating Leap Day, I finally realized that unless I want to propose marriage today there really is no good traditional celebration. I think my husband might be a bit peeved if I start flinging proposals around, so instead I'm going to offer free shipping to any U.S. address today. Orders shipped outside the U.S. will get the largest shipping discount I can manage, just let me know where you are and what items you're interested in.

Here's the details:
1. Make a purchase from either of my shops on February 29, 2008:
2. Send me a message telling me what you purchased and asking for the Leap Day Special
3. Either wait for me to send you a revised invoice, or if you prefer to pay right away I can refund your shipping fee
4. Enjoy your extra day!

It'll be four years before this special occasion comes along again, so get busy shopping!

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Boutique Crochet from Lazy Cat

I'm not sure if I'm more taken with the hats, scarves, and amigurumi creations at Lazy Cat, or with the crocheted wire jewelry. I'd love it if you'd leave a comment and let me know which is your favorite!

Melvin the Monkey Hat, $25

Amigurumi Crochet Petunia Pig, $7.50

Sydney Necklace and Earring Set in black agate, black onyx, and freshwater pearls, $150

Santiago Necklace and Earring Set in malachite, $95

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Graceful Wirework and Gemstones

Katrin Lerman Jewelry has a beautiful selection of artisan pieces. Each item is elegant and unique, and the gemstones used are varied enough to please even the most selective tastes. I've included a few of my personal favorites here, but be sure to browse the shop and find your own faves!

Snow Queen, $129

1,000 and 1 Nights, $99

Lemon Drop, $79

Monday, February 25, 2008

Studio Marcy--Cute and Quirky Hot Glass

I know I've mentioned how much I love everything about glass, but I have to mention it again. I love glass! I am in complete awe of those who do torchwork--check out the detail on these pieces from Studio Marcy--and each one is less than an inch tall! To make this shop the perfect, not only does Marcy make cute beads, she also creates quirky ones. The alien is my favorite!

Chipper the Puppy Dog, $23

Flower Face, $18

Euphonia the Alien Diva, $23

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Purrrfectlydevine is Divine

I hope you enjoy the jewelry designs of Purrrfectlydevine, I certainly do! This beader has a beautiful knack for creating color combinations that pop and then turning them into wearable art using interesting wire patterns.

Spring is in the Air Necklace, $40

Crocheted Summer Blues Necklace, $33.50

Copper Crocheted Beaded Necklace, $13.50

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Tiffany Teske, an Amazing Photographer

To begin this unique photographic art Tiffany Teske captured an image on slide film. The slide was then projected onto Polaroid pack film which was peeled prematurely. The “waste” side of the film pack, which contains processing chemicals, was then placed face down onto wet watercolor paper and brayed (rolled over with a print making brayer). The result is a one-of-a-kind hand-pulled photographic transfer of the original slide image. The original image can be transferred an unlimited number of times but the resulting transfer will always vary from the last.

Fly, $35

Lion Head Fountain, $35

Unruly Children, $30

Thursday, February 21, 2008

For the Love of Beads (and cigar boxes full of them)

Marilyn of Cigarboxbeads has been beading since she purchased several cigar boxes full of beads at a flea market twenty years ago. Her experience shows in her work--it fascinates me!

Sweetie Pie the Beaded Pixie has incredible detail. Did you notice the bracelet and necklace? I love the hair!

This Paterkillar Beaded Beads Necklace has the coolest name. I think it would look lovely on me!

The Twisted Garden Path Choker is my idea of perfection. I know I'd be stunning in it. Hmm, maybe someone will notice and one of these days I'll have a special gift to open.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Kuddle Bugz Threadz

I'm excited about becoming a grandmother again, and always watching for fun and unique baby gear. I found some terrific things at Kuddle Bugz Threadz, and how often can I say I picked something up from a crafter in North Pole, Alaska?

This tag blankie is certain to keep a little one entertained for a long time. I especially like the fact that one side is high-contrast black and white and the other is filled with bright colors.

This fleece hat with ear flaps looks warm and cozy.

I love these slippers. Too bad they don't come in adult sizes, too--or I'd have a pair on my feet right now.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

I Can't Paint

I am so envious of people who can paint and draw. These are not skills I have, and it's unlikely that even with intensive lessons I could ever come close to being slightly below average. I found some very striking pieces at Coconut Palm Designs, and so once again I'll have to satisfy my love of art with simply looking and admiring. ACEOs are wonderful: they're both small (so you can collect tons of them!) and very affordable (so you can collect tons of them!).

Mountain Lake ACEO is a lovely watercolor piece.

I love the colors in Under the Sea, a watercolor ACEO.

Face 2 Face 1 ACEO is a striking and contemporary silhouette.

Monday, February 18, 2008

What's a Plugboard?

Plugboards are a free form of advertising. I noticed a jump in my blog views within one day of adding a plugboard here! If you scroll to the bottom of this blog you'll see a bunch of little banners, some flashing and some not. That's my plugboard, and I'd be thrilled for you to add your plug to it. What's a plug? It's a tiny banner, for this board 88x31, that you link to your blog, e-store, personal web site, etc. Click on some of the plugs and see where they take you: some will go to pages with more plug boards, some to Etsy or eBay shops, some to blogs.

Want a plugboard of your own? Try PlugMe.
Need someone to create a plug for you? Bitty Moose makes very nice animated banners.
To find more boards to plug, try clicking through some of the existing plugs on my board, or do a search for them. Warning: Plugging can be addictive.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Knuckle Toes is a Silly Name, But a Very Cool Shop

Have a browse at Knuckle Toes and you'll find a lovely selection of jewelry and some cute tops. But my favorite things are a little off the norm.

This purse was created with reused men's neckties, and it's an example of recycling at its finest.

This PMS Apology Card is perfect for those times you've gone a bit, umm, violent.

This PMS Apology Card is just plain cool. (a sister store)

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Beautiful Beaded Art Dolls

You can find quilled and beaded flowers, treasure boxes, ACEOs, and suncatchers at CraftyMoose, but my favorite things there are the beaded art dolls. Come take a look!

I Love Dogs Beaded Art Doll, $10

Mermaid Beaded Art Doll Pin, $25

Daisies are Forever Art Doll, $10

Friday, February 15, 2008

SDS Designs

Etsy: Your place to buy & sell all things handmade
SDS Designs

Animal lover Shannon Saylor creates lovely beaded jewelry: anklets, bracelets, necklaces, earrings, even sets--and some of her prettiest pieces feature glass beads. (Of course, I'm always partial to glass. ) She's a member of Etsy for Animals, so a portion of her sales go to animal-related charities. The photos here are a small sample of her work, visit her shop and have a browse around, you're sure to find something perfect!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Putting Art in Your Hands

I found the coolest things today in Glory2727's etsy shop! This artist paints on items you can use everyday, and the prices are reasonable enough that anyone can afford to include a bit or original art in their life.

These Flowers on Soap are useable bars of soap. The art has been sealed, so as you lather the soap gets used from the bottom of the bar.

This Designer Ruler has been sealed with two coats of varnish, so you can use it without fear of wearing down the artwork.
These Pretty Posey Bookmarks have been laminated to protect the beautiful floral painting.

Glory2727 also sells gorgeous original paintings, prints, ACEOs, and notecards.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Eu nao fala portugues

"I don't speak Portuguese," is one of the few Portuguese phrases I know, and I'm not entirely positive I've spelled it correctly. Thankfully beauty knows no language barriers, and my visit to ContasBrasil's shop left me wanting to hop on the next flight to Rio.

The Green/Lavanda Fields necklace is one of my favorites.

I am amazed at the detail in this handcrafted Myong Doll Bag. I can't imagine the number of hours this must have taken, and I feel inspired to try my hand at something more intricate than normal.

I am a Canna!

I usually avoid silly quizzes, but this one was fun. I am a Canna: "You stand up for what you believe in, even if it gets in the way of what other people think. You are proud of yourself and your accomplishments and you enjoy letting people know that."

Go ahead, try it!

I am a

What Flower
Are You?

Monday, February 11, 2008

Written Notes Are Not a Lost Art

Anything that brings a more personal touch to communication is a good thing. I found some sweet notecards at vanessa kimball that are both unique and very affordable.

Green Grass Notecards, set of 4 with matching envelopes, $6

Bird Meadow Notecards, set of 4 with matching envelopes, $6

Love Filigree Notecards, set of 4 with matching envelopes, $6

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Not Your Mama's Macrame

I remember looking at macrame plant hangers, door curtains, and room dividers as a child and thinking they were the ultimate decorating touches. They're nearly extinct now, so I was happy to discover that some artists are bringing macrame to the masses once again, but in an updated and much lovelier format. I've included a few of my favorite treasures from Earthcharms here, and there are many more in her shop.

This Serenity Choker is made with moonstone and prehnite.

This Still Waters choker features hematite and sodalite.

Embracing the Blues Choker has blue chalcedony and quartz.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

No-mess No-fuss Pets

BackWoods Creations has a lovely selection of handcrafted fabric animal sculptures and mixed-media fashion accessories. The folkart sculptures are darling--I'd love to have a room full of them. Come have a look!

Benny is the cutest batik striped cat ever! He's guaranteed not to shed or scratch the legs of your furniture, although he's partial to the fingers and ears of small children.

This black and purple hen doesn't have a name. I think she looks like a Zelinda, but if you adopt her I suppose you could pick another name for her.

This poor rose breasted sparrow is also nameless, but it seems obvious to me she wants to be called Petunia. She's housebroken and doesn't require a cage.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Inspired Jewelry by Ann Burke

Beadwork amazes me. I don't have the patience to work with hundreds (thousands!) of tiny beads, arranging them in a precise pattern, stringing, knotting, and whatever else is involved. I know I'd end up knocking them all over the floor, then stepping on them for days because I wouldn't want to vacuum them up.

Ann Burke's shop is filled with so many beautiful and mesmerizing items that I couldn't pick just a few to feature here. Browse her collection, but be prepared to be dazzled. Each piece is unique, and what could be better than owning a one-of-a-kind bracelet or pair of earrings?

Etsy: Your place to buy & sell all things handmade
Inspired Jewelry by Ann Burke

Thursday, February 7, 2008

GilBea--For a Bit of Gorgeous Every Day

I love the feel and the look of silk. It says "Hey! I'm special! Touch me!" The hand-painted silk scarves in GilBea's shop are just gorgeous, and say all those things times three.

This silk mini-scarf is the perfect thing for me. I've never been much of a scarf person, but GilBea's suggestion to use this as a ponytail holder turns this into something I might use quite often.

This blue and purple geometric design scarf is so beautiful I may consider becoming a scarf person.

These laminated silk bookmarks are a unique way to use and preserve painted silk--a bit of loveliness to mark your page.