Terrific Tuesday ~ Etsy Faves and Finds!

08/17/2010 § Leave a comment

Yes it’s Tuesday again which means more lovelies from Etsy!  I’m feeling Autumnal today so I’m going with a Fall theme.  It’s my favorite time of the year – perhaps because I’m a Libra, born in October and grew up with Halloween themed birthdays.  I love crisp, cool air and the smell of cinnamon.  The colors of turning leaves and muted, earthy tones resonate within me.  This year, my own color palette is a little “brighter” than the usual browns, oranges and greens – but they’re still my favorites.  So please enjoy and be sure to stop by these gorgeous shops and show some love!

Bragging Bags (http://www.etsy.com/shop/braggingbags) is a wonderful shop with an overall Autumn and earthy wedding feel to it. Lots of nature inspired gifts, favors, jewelry and accessories for rustic/country/green weddings.  I featured them in my fall.in.love treasury a while back and I just can’t get enough of this ethereal shop!  I love these pumpkin ring bearer “pillows”.



A new discovery for me, Nushkie Design (http://www.etsy.com/shop/Nushkie) offers absolutely gorgeous felt work.  Beyond Fall lovelies, Nushkie offers winter & Christmas designs, toys, Mermaids and wearable felt items.



One of the best things about Autumn for me is chilly weather clothing.  I love the colors, textures and warmth Fall colors and fabrics brings.  Anyone that knows me knows I love tights or leggings with a good skirt and a killer pair of boots.  I found some great organic leggings here at Conscious Clothing (http://www.etsy.com/shop/consciousclothing) and a few other great fall pieces.  Supporting fashion that is sustainable should be at the top of your Fall fashion shopping list!





Featured in the Star News Wilmington!

08/16/2010 § Leave a comment

So a few weeks back I got a random reply to one of my blogs from a reporter for the Star News.  She was doing a feature on local Etsy sellers and asked if I’d like to be included.  Of course I said yes and waited patiently for the list of questions to arrive in my inbox.  Within a few days I had them and answered them promptly.  Later in the week a very nice photographer came to my house where I sat in my studio smiling for the camera.  I do not like having my picture taken at all!  But he was super nice and made it easy for me.  After he left, the waiting began.  The article was originally supposed to appear online the next week and in print within a few days after that.  Unfortunately it was delayed a few days and more waiting ensued.

Last week I received the joyous news that it was due out on August 15th in print – the Sunday paper!! Sometime late Friday night I happened online and found this:

Etsy wraps local artists, buyers in web of commerce

By Carmen Rodriguez
StarNews Correspondent

I was overjoyed to say the least.  I’ve never been featured in anything really, let alone the paper.  It’s a great article which you should definitely read when you have the time.

So, yesterday – Sunday – finally rolls around and I, of course, had to run to the store and check the paper.  I was totally blown away when I turned to the Work section and found this:

I couldn’t be happier and managed to buy a few copies to send to my family.  Please take a minute to read the online article (it’s the same as the print) and send me your thoughts!!

Beyond Fall – Colors For Winter 2011

08/14/2010 § Leave a comment

Fashion and design is all about forward thinking.  As everyone is just now getting out their fall lines, fall colors, I’m already thinking about the next season!  So, what’s on tap for Winter 2011?  I’ve checked in over at APLF who put out colors and materials trends and I have to say, there’s a lot to look forward to.  You can check it out for yourself and download the pdf.

Fall/Winter 2010/2011 is all about Emotions and Sensations.  Here’s a preview of their collections:

I absolutely love the romantic colors of  “Feel!”.  Gorgeous and romantic – muted blues and purples play with soft silvery Ash and Rabbit.  A pretty light mauve and two cool greens round out the bunch.   They call it “Urban Romantic” and I think that sums it up quite nicely.

Oh My God I’m Turning In To My Mother…

08/09/2010 § 1 Comment

It’s true and I just realized it.  Yesterday.  My husband and I went for a drive to the beach and along the way I kept seeing “junk” and antique shops.  After my “oohs” and “aahs” I would say, “I really want to go in there!”   To which his response would be some sort of nod or roll of the eyes. (This actually happens on a quite regular basis now)  We saw one place – about a 1/2 acre sized property – littered with sheds, lean-to’s and the likes filled to the brim with everything you could imagine.  A rainbow of glass bottles, a myriad of lawn ornaments and homemade signs reading things like “Mary’s Art Sold Here” and “30 Year Clearance Sale”.  (That one boggled my mind – still does).   It was so cluttered with stuff you could not see in the windows.  We later passed the giant and foreboding antique’s place I’ve always wanted to go in but never have.  My husband said, “looks scary, like something out of a horror movie,” to which I replied “It looks AMAZING!”  This place is an old farmhouse next to the highway.  It’s falling down.  Literally.  A huge sign on the sign reads ANTIQUES but you can barely read it.  To the untrained eye yes, it looks scary.  To me, a virtual treasure trove waiting to be discovered.

So, amidst all of this is when it hit me.  I’m turning in to my mother.  

To better understand we need to go back 25 years.  My parents divorced when I was very young and both re-married in the very early 80’s.  My mom and step-father met at an auction.  An antiques auction.  (Starting to get the picture?)  Every outing, every vacation, every trip we ever took centered around visiting some historic site or some huge antique bizarre/fair/market.  I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve been to Williamsburg.  They even owned an antique shop for a spell and their house is still full to the brim with antiques.  My step-father actually knows two of the guys from Antiques Roadshow.  I’m not kidding.

I never appreciated those things when I was younger but apparently now I do.  They were constantly (and still are) on some sort of hunt for the perfect pipe box or Queen Anne table.  My step-father eventually decided to earn his keep as a cabinetmaker – specializing in antique reproduction furniture.  Today, the older they get, their trips are less frequent and now (of course sans children) are more “vacationey”.  But thanks to the internet and Ebay, they still enjoy the proverbial hunt.

So here I am, twenty plus years later creating vintage inspired jewelry.  Collecting vintage odds and ends and antiquing modern things to look old.  I knew someday parts of my mother would creep in like they do for most women – eventually.  I figured it would be along the lines of constantly nagging and writing notes when I have kids.  Or taking up painting when I get older.  Perhaps having a fondness for all things Italy.  Instead I’ve developed a love for things I HATED when I was growing up.  Old bottles, vintage jewelry… things I can make new again…or better yet, new things I can make old.

Life has a funny way of coming full circle and surprising us (or biting us on the ass).  Instead of shaking my fists in frustration, I’ll embrace the wonderful legacy she has passed on.  I only hope I can pass on something equally rewarding and wonderful to my children.

Sunday Blog Share

08/08/2010 § Leave a comment

So today I found this great new blog called Broke Foodie.  It’s so amazingly awesome I just had to share!  This gal is frugal and crafty with her food and her finances.  Her blog post How I Save Tons of Money by Grocery Shopping Once Every Three Months is brilliant and inspiring.  Makes me want a pantry redo and to also get those fall/winter veggies started.   She also features killer and budget friendly recipes that actually make me want to cook.  Yes, me.  So head on over and check it out…it’s totally worth it.

broke foodie

Friday Inspiration – Free Tutorials

08/06/2010 § Leave a comment

Ok so I’ll admit it, I’m a little lazy when it comes to making tutorials. I did one a ways back on making your own earring cards. My process for that has changed and I’ve yet to update the tute. I promise I’ll get to that someday soon! In the meantime, I figured I would share from my wealth of tutorials that I have amassed and saved.

For those of you who sew you simply must check out the blog annekata – she has really great tutorials.  One I love is making fabric flowers.  It’s titled Summer Flower Tutorial – Grow Your Own Hybrid in 5 Minutes…

Another awesome site, craftstylish, pretty much runs the gamut on crafting.  But, one of my favorite tutorials is another sewing one.  It’s How to make Singleton Buttons and they’re ADORABLE!!

singleton buttons - diane gilleland

Lastly, let’s talk about Craftster.org.  Really, if you’ve never been go and check it out.  Immediately.  It’s crafting for the people, by the people.  You can share projects, get feedback and find tutorials!   Here is a really cool one I found on how to make a necklace out of ribbons and washers!  TUTORIAL: Necklace made from Metal Washers

Have fun and enjoy!


08/05/2010 § Leave a comment

I usually post something on “Thirsty Thursdays” today but even though I’m feeling the need for a cocktail, I’m just far too pensive to devote an entire blog on it.

I find myself thinking and reflecting and wondering far too much lately.  And worrying.  Yes, then there’s that.  Most of the daydreaming is of quitting my awful 9-5’er job and going full force as an artist.  Spending my days creating, sharing and encouraging growth through creativity.  I feel this dream is important to have but in reality,  fruition seems always at a finger-lengths away; just beyond my grasp.  I guess that is sort of what dreams are intended to be – by definition – something that keeps us constantly striving for more/better/bigger/happier, etc.  The elusiveness of this dream (and my impatience to achieve it) is where the worrying comes in.  I worry about quitting my job with little savings and a very much under-employed husband.  I worry about making ends meet – paying the mortgage, the bills, buying supplies, food and the occasional niceties that life seems to warrant.  I then feel a bit selfish musing the thought of quitting a job that provides all of those things, especially in a time where so many cannot find a job at all.  But then the worry shifts to something more selfish – what will happen to me if I continue to work a job that makes me mentally, physically and emotionally miserable?  Is happiness and being true to self more important than earning a steady paycheck?

On some days the answer is easy and quick coming.  It’s a solid YES.   Of course. Other days, days like today, it’s a slow, cold, reality slap in the face, NO.  How sad is that?

Being of the creative persuasion I tend to have lofty ideals.  What you may call a dreamer, an idealist or possibly even foolish.  I believe that there should be a way for more people in this world to do what makes them happy or at least be happy with what they do.  I don’t mean “hey, I’m happy sitting on my ass watching TV all day, let this be my job”.  What I mean is helping people identify what they’re good at and enjoy doing and then fostering that love into something that is beneficial for others as well.   Everyone loves different things and that is the beauty of mankind.  Similarly, we all need and want different things.  Therefore it makes sense to me (and possibly only me) that there should be something out there for everyone to do that would make them (relatively) happy.  I’m always thinking and saying that we need to go back to basics in many ways; this is definitely one of them.  There used to be a day when people did what they were good at and that is what defined their careers.  It seems now that the love of craft is less important than making tons of money or making tons of things inexpensively and cheaply.  It’s more important to make a buck then make something with heart.  {Side note – this is why I love the “Handmade Revolution” going on right now :)}

Now before I go off on a tirade about Capitalism run rampant and corporate greed and people start yelling at me that I just don’t understand, let me say take a step back.  I know some folks associate the term “artist” with many things – lazy, starving, hippie – I’ve heard them all.  Some may say an artist just doesn’t want to put in a hard days work.   Trust me, I know all the benefits of putting in a hard days work.  But who’s to judge exactly what that hard days work  should be for me or for you or even for that guy over there.  Being an artist is hard work.  It’s never easy and you’re constantly trying to improve yourself and your medium.  It’s seeking approval while still being an independent thinker and doer.  We cherish it when people adore our art yet must somehow stay true to what we love.  You don’t want to “sell out” but you must find a way to bring in buyers.  It’s a delicate balance.   And it’s WORK.  Now imagine trying to do all that hard work while having a job.  (And I know so, so, so many of you can).  Working 40 hours at a job that numbs every creative piece of your body and then spending your free time creating, learning, marketing and trying to have some sort of a life too.  Doing something we do not like or even loathe in order to be able to do what we love.  To me, that just doesn’t make sense at all.  I guess that’s just the dreamer in me…

So back the beginning and to answering that initial question with a loud, resounding yes.

More on this to come as my journey of becoming a full time artist continues….

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