Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Etsy Finds...Crochet

Have you ever been itching to start a new project?  I have...
I been wanting to crochet something for a while now. 
I say something because I really wasn't sure 
what my project was!  But after my husband finished a project of his own (that's another topic)
I knew then what I wanted to do, a crocheted afghan, a throw a blanket or whatever you may call it for my bed.

I saved some money and about a month ago I finally went and bought me some yarn and got started on it
I decided to post this in order to pressure myself to finish it.  Ah, I want to show you my finished project soon.

What better way to pressure myself don't you think??

Meanwhile I leave you with these wonderful etsy finds,









If you crochet then I am sure you will also be able to appreciate all the hard and extensive work that goes into
making each one of these masterpieces.

I can't wait to show you mine!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

My super hero was born


Five years ago, my little super hero was born...

 There is nothing like a good cake,

 Some goodie bags and a homemade piƱata (made by yours truly)

 and family to celebrate his birthday! 


 This past Saturday we celebrated
Captain America's 5th Birthday...AKA Xavi

Monday, September 26, 2011

Featured artist: cupcaketree

Wouldn't you like to go around the world stamping your name all around??  I would!  Not graffiti, no! I mean a beautiful custom stamp with your name of favorite design on it!  Today I bring you Olga from cupcaketree.
Hope you enjoy this interview and this great artist.

1. Tell us as little or as much as you would like about yourself.
I am a stay-at-home mom of 2 sweet kids. My youngest just started Kindergarten this year, so I am getting used to having a little bit of time to myself these days!

2. What do you sell?
Hand carved rubber stamps and ink pads.

new for halloween
                       
3. Why handmade?
What other way is there? Anyone can buy a machine-made stamp, but a hand carved stamp it a tiny work of art.

4. Where does your inspiration to create come from and/or your inspiration in life?
Looking at real world objects inspires me. Everywhere I look there is a new stamp to create.

new for teachers
5. Besides creating what else do you do? Do you have a full time job?
This business has turned in to a full time job. My kids and family come first, but creating in this job has been wonderful.

6. When did you start thinking you were an artist?  After people kept saying it to me, I realized that maybe this was something special. Crafting is something that I have always enjoyed, and it just amazes me that I am able to create these little stamps that people can enjoy for years.


7. Who has been most influential in your craft work?
My kids have brought out a lot of craftiness in me. The coloring pages, markers, PlayDoh... ideas just swirl in my head thinking of it...

  best selling




















8. Where would you like to be in five years?
Wow... I don't know if I want to think that far ahead! My daughter will be in high school! I would be happy doing exactly what I am doing today.

one of Olga's favorites!





 9. Is there anything you'd like to 
try doing that you haven't done?
crafts, sports, life in general?

I frequently walk around Joanns to try to find a craft that I have not tried. I love looking around Etsy to see what others have created, it has given me so many ideas (much like starting this stamp carving). It is a beautiful place to sell handmade, I am proud to be part of it. 

10. Besides online where else do you sell?
Etsy is the only place that I sell right now. I have thought of selling at local venues, but my shop keeps me pretty busy, so that is where I will be.


ways to contact you:
shop: cupcaketree

Thursday, September 22, 2011

1980s Loving You Barbie Commercial


I was just thinking the other day that I loved to play barbie dolls when I was a child.  I had many barbie dolls when growing up. But these were the cheap plastic barbie dolls that would not bend their legs or arms.  Nonetheless I was happy, I really didn't mind, I really loved to play with them.  I grew up with my two brothers one two years older than me and the other two years younger than me.  We had an aunt very close to our age, she was only three years older than me.  We were practically sisters, and my brothers the typical boys that would not let us play alone and would mess up our playtime.  Me and my aunt loved to make dresses for our dolls.  Once we've decided that the dolls have had their wardrobe for a long time, we would practically throw every piece of clothing they had and started making new dresses for our dolls.  Then we would sell our designs to each other.

I was two months short of being 13 years old when my baby sister was born, and it was then when an older aunt bought me my very first real Barbie doll.  I didn't beg for it like my life depended on it, I just got it as a gift! My beautiful Barbie had really red lipstick and a dress with a red velvet bodice, and a puffy white skirt with small red velvet hearts all over.  Pure bliss! I had my newborn baby (sister) and my real barbie.  I probably played with it until I was almost 14.  It's a shame I didn't get it earlier...oh well!


I came to the realization that you can really google everything and that the world is really at our fingertips as I was searching for this barbie! Her name is "Loving You Barbie" it came out in 1983 I found this commercial in you tube and it brought real vivid and happy memories to me.




 Let's keep the memories alive...
 Did you happened to come across this Barbie?


Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Morning laughs...Laughs that make me a bit nervous




We were having Chinese food on Saturday, at the end of the meal 
as always when Chinese is on the menu
Xavi was eager to get his fortune cookie.  
This time he wanted to 'read it'  keep in mind that he's never been in school before, 
barely starting Kindergarten and  learning letters 
Aa, Ss, Dd, Mm, Pp 
(we are working hard on those!)

OK, so we all paused to listen to Xavi read his fortune cookie:

"You will kiss a red-hair girl" he read

WHAT????

did he say kiss a girl? he did!
he also asked me for skinny jeans a couple of weeks ago
...my four year old.
He will be 5 in exactly a week from today, he is growing up too fast.

I am so not ready for this :(


Monday, September 19, 2011

Featured artist: Cathy from cathymichaelsdesign


Today I bring you Cathy from cathymichaelsdesign

1.  Tell us as little or as much as you would like about yourself.
I am a mother, wife, sister, daughter, full time professional and mostly an artist.  I have always been creative, I never remember a time when I did not create.  I am now on a mission in my life to pursue art as my full time profession.  What this means is splitting time between creating and marketing myself - which is not one of my strongest points.  In the end, as long as I am creating I am truly happy.

2.  What do you sell?
lt depends on what my obsession is at any given time.  I move from paper kits to collaged tins to muslin bags.  Sometimes I make jewelry and some months only journals.  I often feel like there is nothing I cannot create because it really all comes from the same place doesn't it.  When you want to create anything is possible.

                Artwork - canvas collage Dream Large

3.  Why handmade? 
Handmade is the best!  I, like many people today, am so tired of the commercial, everything-the-same Walmart world kind of items!  There is nothing like a well-made, hand made item.

4.  Where does your inspiration to create come from and/or your inspiration in life?
It really comes from everywhere - from inside - from outside, from external sources like color, or layout or composition.  It can be almost anything.  It can be a from a book cover in a bookstore, it can be the shape of the molding on a building, it can be the ruffles on someone's skirt.  It's really everywhere but some days my eyes see it more clearly than others.
                                                      Gift Tags Set of 3
5.  Besides creating what else do you do?  Do you have a full time job?
I do have a full time job in the telecomm industry.  I manage a group of 20 people for a very large telecomm company which provides the infrastructure for the cell phone industry.  It is a fast paced, demanding and a 24/7 hour job.  I have been doing this for most of my adult life, most of the time loving it and only in recent years have my priorities started to shift.  I also have a  beautiful teenage son who I love more than anything in the world.  At this teenage age, I am reminded constantly that I need to stay on top of him and this is not the time to give him freedom now that he does not need me anymore.  In fact I have learned the hardware that the opposite is true.

6.  When did you start thinking you were an artist?
This is a really good question and I think one we all need to consider as artists.  I would have to honestly say that it was only about 1 year ago.  It should have been my whole life but it was not - it was only a year ago when I had the realization - no the epiphany - that I was indeed an artist.  And what a happy, comfortable feeling as I slipped into it like an old sweater.  I remember throughout my life that there were random people at different times in my life who referred to me or called me an artist.  I remember feeling so embarrassed on the outside, like I was not worthy of that title, but at the same time honoured on the inside.  How did they know and I didn't?  Now I see it's because they were artists as well.

                                         Muslim Bag
7.  Who has been most influential in your craft work? There are many artists who have influenced me. In the past year names like Carolyne Quartermaine, Laura Letinsky and Emma Cassis come to mind.  I have never met or even spoken to these women but they are influential.  Closer to home I would have to say that my mother was the most influential.  My mother could make anything and could figure out how to make anything.  We didn't have a lot of money growing up but I always remember our homes were comfortable and cosy and my bedroom was always decorated with beautiful wallpapers and bedspreads.

8.  Where would you like to be in five years?
This is a question I have been thinking about a lot in the past 6 months to a year. I think I know where I want to be.  I want to have a very successful blog with thousands of readers.  I want to attend art retreats on a yearly basis.  I want to teach at art retreats and travel all over to do this.  I want simply to be a full time artist with a healthy income and a long list of followers, friends and like minded artists!   I don't like the word "followers" very much but I use it because it is todays lingo.  For me a follower is someone who has been a loyal fan and supporter for a long long time and someone who I have not yet met face to face.  If I had met them face to face then I would probably call them friends.

              Journal - Altered Moleskine II
9.  Is there anything you'd like to try doing that you haven't done?

At the larger level I still want to do a lot of traveling.  When my son was young I had the opportunity to travel a lot with my company but I wasn't so eager since I was a divorced single parent and didn't want to leave him at all.  Now he is older and so am I and I want to travel,travel travel.  I have been to Paris but so want to go back, I have never been to Italy but so want to go.  I have never been to London but that's on the list and BALI is my dream spot and it's the reward I've set for myself when I reach all my goals. 
In terms of art the realm of mediums that you can use today is so expansive that I get overwhelmed by all the things I still want to try.  Encaustics, working with wax as a glaze, pottery, oil painting,and the list goes on.  If it's out there - I want to try it!

10.  Besides online where else do you sell?
Besides on-line I don't sell anywhere else today and I think I like it that way.  A few years back I had tried the cold calling different boutiques and had some of my work in some stores but I somehow didn't find it rewarding.  The item would sell (in ones and two-sies) and I wouldn't know to whom and I never got any feedback.  I think that unless you start producing things in the 100's or 10000's retail is a tough way to go and still keep the integrity of a handmade item.  I do see however getting a licensing agreement where they could produce a thousand, no a million of "something" with my work on it!  That would be fun and that is one of the goals on my list these days
I just recently started creating online videos in order to share some of my journaling techniques with others.  This is a great way to learn new things and share art with like minded souls. My first video I made available on my own blog and then I joined Creative Workshops and created 2 more videos which are live now.  You can see preview over at creative workshops @ http://creativeworkshops.ning.com.
ways to contact you:
email:  cathy.bluteau@videotron.ca

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Little Women

I am not a big reader...my excuse I don't have time make time to read.  Sure I read in High School and I enjoyed it very much.  Although I was struggling to learn and read the English language I enjoyed and remember some of the books I read  "Of Mice and Men", "Lord of the flies", "The Good Earth" this last one I read and told the story along to my mom, she loved it!


But even before that and my encounter with the English Language I fell in love with a book that I treasure and know for a fact that will never ever end up in my shop as envelopes!

My mom bought me "Mujercitas"  "Little Women"  by Louisa May Alcott I don't recall how old I was maybe 9 or 10 yrs old.  But I do remember reading that book over and over and over... placing blank paper on the pages to trace the pretty dresses.  I loved the March sisters, their kindness and their different personalities!

I saved that book as a treasure!

A couple of months ago I  found a scholastic version of the book at one of my local thrift shops and bought it for Sophia, she liked reading it, although it is a shortened version. I remembered that my beloved book was still at my mom's.  I went and got it, dusted it off and we started reading it over the summer.  I told Sophia that once we finish reading it, we would watch the movie.  Later I found the VHS movie for less than a dollar at another thrift shop!

What a treat!  I could tell Sophia liked the story too because once in a while she gets the movie out and starts watching it!
In fact we watched it two nights ago!




Have you read the book or watched the movie??
It's one of my all time favorites...not that I've read a lot!

Days of Chalk and Chocolate giveaway


I'd like to share with you this lovely blog I recently found


and she is having a Fabric Flowers giveaway and I am 
keeping my fingers crossed!  ;)
enter here
ends Sept.  22 


Tuesday, September 13, 2011

August's winner from moncy3

The past month of August went by so fast, we are almost
in the middle of September
 and one thing I know
I was kept busy by my kids and by my great etsy customers!
24 total sales

The winner from my monthly drawing was:  
 applepie from Zaragoza Spain

This was her item of choice!



Also I'd like to show you what Priya the winner from the second edition 


Love of Horses envelopes

Also, as a recap in case you missed any here are the artists I featured on the month of August
a segment I barely started and I am enjoying so much!  hope you are too!

moncy3

moncyscottage

Miss Vals Creations

NoisyMerriment

RobinsLilNest

One thing I hope...that you are enjoying these interview also!  :)


Monday, September 12, 2011

Featured artist: Marley from Saxiib


First of all I have to tell you that I had a wonderful birthday weekend.  Some of you might have heard that we had a major blackout in Southern California, Arizona and parts of Mexico on Thursday.  Luckily mi little corner of Hemet, CA was not affected but my husband works in San Ysidro, CA in a school district and schools were canceled on Friday so he came home early on Friday and being my Birthday he came home with dozen roses and a cake!  We initially had plans to go out to dinner on Saturday but we went for breakfast instead (you know how fun it is to skip making breakfast for five people! and instead being served) I also told you that we've been sick all of last week.  Well the bug finally caught him and I made some chicken broth for him on Sunday and we literally watched movies most of the day.  I had a wonderful weekend and literally enjoyed every moment of it.  It feels good to be loved.  

So for my featured artist of this week I bring you Marley from Saxiib she recycles or re purposes old things into new wonderful pieces!  enjoy the interview


1.  Tell us as little or as much as you would like about yourself.
My name is Marley. I have been married for 17 years to a school teacher. I have three daughters (15,13,11).  I live in a bungalow home in Minneapolis and spend most of my free time helping resettle Somali Refugees.

2.  What do you sell?
I sell Handmade and Upcycled Clothing and Accessories.  I have two other Etsy shops as well.  www.zinniasnipsnap.etsy.com, vintage fabric and www.RetroStock.etsy.com, vintage stuff.



 
 
3.  Why handmade?
Buying handmade is like receiving a bit of the artist's heart packaged in your purchase. I know how much time and effort that goes into the making of something and I love to support fellow artists.
 
4.  Where does your inspiration to create come from and/or your inspiration in life?
My inspiration comes from the ultimate Creator: God my Father and His Son Jesus Christ.  I create for His sake.

 

5.  Besides creating what else do you do?  Do you have a full time job?
Etsy is my full time job. Running my home and toting my daughters around takes up a lot of my time!
 
6.  When did you start thinking you were an artist?
I have always wanted to be an artist. As long as I can remember I loved to color. When asked what I wanted to be when I grew up I would answer, "an artist and a mother".  I feel blessed to do both.

 


7.  Who has been most influential in your craft work?
People I have met a long the way. My camp counselor was/is an incredible artist and I remember wanting to create like he did. I worked beside a girl in high school who loved textiles. I felt myself drawn towards yarn and fabric after that. I had many creative artist friends in college who continued to inspire my work.

8.  Where would you like to be in five years? 
Making more money selling on Etsy to supplement my husband's income.

 

9.  Is there anything you'd like to try doing that you haven't done?
     crafts, sports, life in general?
I would love to try drawing and painting again. 

10.  Besides online where else do you sell?
Occasional craft fairs.

Ways to contact you:
www.Saxiib.etsy.com
www.zinniasnipsnap.etsy.com
www.RetroStock.etsy.com

Friday, September 9, 2011

The big 40

 via

Happy Birthday to me!
Today I turn 40! aahhhhhh down the hill?? 
No... I want to be positive on this one. 
I'd like to think 40 is not that bad...

  • There are 40 weeks in an average term pregnancy
  • There is a saying that says "Life begins at forty"
  • The customary number of hours in a regular workweek is 40
 never mind...scratch that last one we could 
get away with less hours there!

But anyways, yes the big 40!
I have some wrinkles on my face because I've laughed a lot, 
a couple of stretch marks (not a lot just a couple!) 
because I gave birth to two wonderful children.
Some scar burns on my hands, 
because I've cooked meals for my wonderful family.
I've had good and bad days and even the worst days possible
BUT...
I can totally thank God for all his blessings
and I can also say I don't feel 40...
I feel 35.99 plus shipping and handling
or 22 with 18 yrs experience!

promised to take me out to dinner on Saturday ;) 


Thursday, September 8, 2011

Season's Change Finale...Week 45

Season:  one of the four periods of the year (spring, summer, autumn, and winter), beginning astronomically at an equinox or solstice, but geographically at different dates in different climates.

Every morning on our way to my daughters school  we go past a ranch with a long row of big trees that surely change with the seasons but we hardly notice.  My kids and I have decided to embark on a project that will help us notice that gradual change on the trees.  My daughter Sophia  will take at least a weekly picture after school for a whole year, I will post it on my blog entry on Thursdays and my little one Xavi wants in it too so he will take a picture of some cows from a different ranch and improve his picture taking skills.

Today we come to the end of this journey.  One year ago  we did our first post on Season's Change.  It was really a commitment, a goal to be finished!  But it's only 45 weeks you might say.  Well yes, we missed some weeks, like Christmas holidays, some weeks I was just too tied up with things, others weeks were bad you know when the world crumbles around you and you think it's the end (yes I have those days!)   I think 45 out of 52 weeks it's not that bad.

Cow story:  the cows we used to take pictures of have been missing since December.  Kids are on the lookout!




I've had a house full of sick bodies since last Thursday , Sophia was the first one to get sick, then Xavi and then I managed to catch the bug too!  Sophia went back to School on Tuesday and Xavi has been out of school for three days.  These pictures were taken this morning can you see his pale and shy face?  He is on his way to recovery thank goodness, you know when the kids are getting better when they are up on their feet.

 As far as the cows...well you know the story they are history! It was fun and challenging when they disappeared on week 14.  They basically bailed on us, so we started a search for them.  Can't blame those poor cows, they probably ended as hamburger meat for the 4th of July, Memorial day or this past Labor Day! I do have to say that the goal was for the kids to take pictures and shame on me because I ended up taking most of the pictures not all but most!  I had fun with my camera, making moments stay still and last forever on a picture is great.

This  little project of ours made us realize that we live life at such a fast pace that we rarely stop to see the changes (big or small) that happen right before our eyes.  We took the time to stop and take  a closer look at those details that make our world beautiful.  Basically 'stop and smell the roses'.  Looking back at this series I can see how my kids grew over the course of a year and I love it!  I will miss doing these series and the kids will miss it too.

Just next time remind me not to make such long term commitments when it comes to blogging.  I'd like to thank you for reading these series and for your comments that  put a smile on my face and for sticking by this humble blog of mine!  I send you all big hugs!

Claudia
xoxo

compare to week 1  
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Monday, September 5, 2011

Featured artist: Robin from RobinLilNest

Happy Labor Day Weekend my lovies!  I hope you all are having a great three day weekend !  Today I bring you Robin from RobinLilNest.  Please read along and enjoy the interview.

1.      Tell us as little or as much as you like about yourself.
My name is Robin Delean Dickinson. I am a Navy wife and have been with my husband for 23 years. We have been following the US Navy around for over 20 years. We have lived in Missouri, Illinois, Connecticut, Georgia, Hawaii and Virginia. I am a mother of 3 and an Army Mom. I homeschooled our children because moving so often was really starting to become an academic challenge. I wouldn’t trade that experience for anything in the world because I feel like that is why I know my children, their strengths and their weaknesses so well. I am just very blessed with a wonderful, supportive family. We are always laughing, joking and tormenting one another. 

Robin
 
2.      What do you sell?
I sell fine art photography and handmade, repurposed rag rugs. Of course my photography is my “art” and I enjoy it above all things. I do rag rugs while I’m lounging around the house. It’s relaxing. You’ll find both available in my Etsy shop.
 
3.      What type of photography do you specialize in (for example, photojournalism, action photography, fashion photography, art photography, travel photography, portraiture photography)?    
I specialize in fine art photography, mostly nature and rural areas. I love anything old, used, worn, antique. I wonder about the stories they could tell if they were able. Sure…the city is nice but if I can find an old, leaning barn or an abandoned farm house I’m in photography heaven! 

Why does that type of photography interest you? 
I look for things that are magical and nostalgic. If I feel like I must share it with the world, then I photograph it. I like to take photos of things that aren’t around anymore in hopes of preserving their beauty so they never die. 
4.      Where does your inspiration come from and/or your inspiration in life?
God and my family are my greatest inspirations. They support me in everything I do. They inspire me to be a better person. Honestly, I’m not a goal-oriented person and they help me overcome that. I want to show them through example that they can do anything, accomplish the loftiest of dreams and reach any goal they set for themselves. We have one life and we must live it with no regrets, never holding back.
 
5.      Besides from photography what else do you do?  Do you have a full time job? I do not work outside of the home. I’ve tried that but it’s never been very successful. I am a pretty introverted individual. I like to spend time on my own. I do not need to be surrounded by people to be happy.  The rag rugs are my other outlet.  I  also love, love, love to read. You will find a lot of quotes from classic literature and distinguished authors incorporated with my photography. I think the two mediums are the perfect blend of everything beautiful and wise.  I also enjoy watching movies. I just love stories! Taking photos is a way of storytelling oftentimes. I don’t use words but I do use images. 

 
6.      When did you start thinking you were an artist? 
I have always desired to be an artist. I’ve dabbled in a lot of crafts, painting, sewing, writing….yet I still do not dare consider myself an artist. There are so many artists out there that create such mind-boggling, glorious art that I would never put myself in that category.
 
 
7.      Who has been most influential in your work?
I am a Christian and I am very influenced by nature. I feel closer to God when examining and capturing His artwork to show off for Him. He is the greatest Artist!
As far as photography, Shelby Lee Adams is my biggest influence. He does portraits and I do not so it’s a bit odd.  But what I love about him is that he captures truth and the stories that he tells are so important. It doesn’t matter if it’s pretty in the eyes of society or not; it does not matter if he is criticized for his art or not either. He takes the pictures that people probably do not want to see. His is not scared. He also has a way of making not so attractive things beautiful.  I simply love his easy style.
And as far as my personal life, my biggest influence is my husband. He is so successful in everything he sets out to do. He is also my biggest cheerleader  superhero (he edited this) and he has a way of making me think that I can do anything. I trust him completely and bounce ideas off of him constantly.


 
 
8.  Where would you like to be in five years?
I am currently a photography student. Within the next 2 years I will graduate, our children will all be gone from the nest and my husband will be retired from the military. We would like to do some traveling around the US via RV to take pictures. This time we’ll go where WE want to go and not where the military tells us to go. ; )
 
9.  Is there anything you'd like to try doing that you haven't done?
     crafts, sports, life in general? 
I really want to go zorbing in the Rocky Mountains! (google it, you’ll love it too)

10.  Besides online where else do you sell?
Right now I only sell online.  I have the Etsy shop and a Zazzle store which is a wonderful website because my photos can be put on so many different items. I love it! Cards, posters, bags, prints, postcards, t-shirts….and it’s affordable!

 
Come to my Zazzle store to make a purchase and let me know you saw me on this blog. I’ll give you 20% off your purchase! If you’re purchasing from Etsy use the code MoncyBlog20 for 20% of your purchase.

 

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