Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Chalkboards

I think I have told you how much I like chalkboards, haven't I??

Here are some ideas if you like them too!

The Blooming Thread
 
Pottery Barn

braggingbags



ChalkboardChina

hanscreations


What do you think?? 
Don't miss your chance to win a 
Chalkboard book such as this one
enter giveaway HERE
it ends Dec 4th.
if you've done so, best of luck to you!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Featured artist: Denise from SandBoxStudio PLUS A GIVEAWAY

Today I bring you Denise from SandBoxSudio.  She has a wonderful shop 
in which she uses recycled materiasl to create new items!  How cool is that??
Denise was kind and generous 
enough to offer one of her items for a giveaway. 
She will make a chalkboard book similar to the one pictured below 
for one of you lucky readers!!!
This awesome chalkboard could make a great little gift...to give or to keep ;)
I'd keep it if I were you.
Winner will be selected randomly on Sunday December 4th
This giveaway is open to international readers, so go ahead!  
you know you want to enter!

Rules are simple:
1. Visit SandBoxStudio, come back with a comment
telling me which one is your favorite item from Denise's shop.

For additional entries:
share it on Facebook
tweet this giveaway
(you can tweet it everyday just come back and leave it in a separate comment)

You can win a Chalkboard Book similar to this one!
Recycled Chalkboard Activity Notebook Journal Large

1.  Tell us as little or as much as you would like about yourself.
Hi, my name is Denise Conroy and I’m the crafter behind SandBoxStudio.etsy.com.  My husband and I live in Indiana with our two young adult children.  Our daughter is a senior in college and our son is a senior in high school.  We have a very smart and well behaved chocolate lab and a very mischievous but loving black lab.  I grew up mostly in Colorado with my 3 siblings and fantastic parents. My husband and I have lived from one end of the country to the other, but have found Indiana to be our favorite place so far.  It’s a great place to raise a family! 


2.  What do you sell?
I sell tote bags, zipper pouches, chalkboard books, coffee sleeves and key fobs and a few other things.  I like to use recycled materials in some of my projects.  Like the recycle papers I use in the chalkboard books and the tee shirts I use in the coffee sleeve and fobs.  I sell funky and fun functional stuff; things that others won’t have.

Funky Owl Burlap tote bag
3.   Why handmade?
I have never been a collector of mass produced things. I don’t want my home to be decorated with things that other people have.  I love different and funky things.  Handmade items have a bit of the personality of the person that made it.  My home is decorated with art that my children have made throughout the years, drawings I’ve had framed or ceramics they did in high school, or handmade items I have found during our travels.  
 
 


4.  Where does your inspiration to create come from and/or your inspiration in life?
I think most people, like me, are inspired by everyday life.  Things I see or feel while walking down the street or driving may trigger an idea in my head.  And far too often I lay awake in bed thinking about things I could make.  It’s hard to turn my brain off when I crawl into bed at night. 

Fall Flower burlap wine bottle
5.  Besides creating what else do you do? Do you have a full time job?
I work full time at a credit union in the commercial lending department.  It’s not a creative job, but I do enjoy what I do and the people I work with.  My children are both competitive swimmers and keep me busy running around to meets and events.  I try to be very involved and present in their lives.  You are only given one chance and I don’t want to miss a thing.

6. When did you start thinking you were an artist?
I don’t know that I’m an artist….I would say I’m crafty. My mom is a very creative person.  She was a cake decorator by trade.  She would make doll clothes for me out of old socks and things.  She enrolled me in crafting classes when I was young…probably to get me out of her hair…but she knew that crafting was in my blood.  When I was in high school my parents bought me my first sewing machine (which I still have!) and I thought I died and went to heaven.  The other kids thought I was crazy to be happy over a sewing machine.  What did they know? 
 

7. Who has been most influential in your craft work?
My mom.  She taught me to knit, cake decorate, and to think outside the box.  She’s a lefty and I’m not, so it was not always easy to teach me things “backwards” but she did a great job in supporting me and all my endeavors.  My family is also very supportive and encouraging.  They are my cheerleaders!

Pink Frog Small Zipper Pouch

8. Where would you like to be in five years?
In 5 years I hope and pray that I am surrounded by my family and that they are all healthy and happy.  Anything else beyond that would be gravy.

Ho Ho Ho Santa Claus Christmas Wine bottle gift bag
9. Is there anything you'd like to try doing that you haven't done?
crafts, sports, life in general?
I would love to learn to make glass beads.  I also want to take a course on photography. I have a great camera, but wish I knew how to REALLY use it.  These are things that are on my “to do” list once my son goes off to college and I have more time on my hands.  Outside of creative things, I would love to travel and see more of our great country.

10. Besides online where else do you sell?
I have done a small local craft show without great success.  The show had crafts as well as home party items.  I think the next show I attend will be specifically for handmade items only.  I think that shows of that nature would draw people that are truly looking for unique one of a kind items.



ways to contact you:
*shop*

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Happy Mail

So here is some more mail that was sent to me and some more that I sent!

OUTGOING MAIL:


This postcard was sent to the Netherlands.  The receiver will be moving to the New York by the end of this year!  I wish her the best of luck!

I sent this vintage card to Indiana, the Star of India it's a floating Museum in San Diego Bay!


This postcard was sent straight to The Netherlands!


 I sent this postcard to Kathya in Australia
as part of a special postcard swap

 Postcard NO 2 to  Kathya in Australia

Postcard NO 3 to Kathya in Australia

Postcard NO 4 to Kathya in Australia



 INCOMING MAIL:

 The sender of this card is from Germany, and she initially sent a card that traveled 166
days that's when she realized that it probably got 'lost' in the mail.
She was kind enough to send another one!

I received this card from Russia!  And to my surprise written in perfect Spanish...and the sender was not Mexican, she was Russian! 

I received some Happy Mail from my friend siga in the Canary Islands! 


 Along she sent this!  she handmade this lovely purse.
Handmade always makes happy mail extra special!
Thanks again siga! xx

 I ask myself how often do etsy sellers get a thank you
note from their buyers??
Well I got one...a thank you note from a buyer :)
 That only makes me feel special.

 Postcard received from Russia.  

Has you mail box been 'happy lately?'

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Confession


I will be honest with you guys.  I miss my Seasons Change Series!!  
I realized  it a couple of weeks ago when I took this picture.
I know I specifically asked you guys not to let me make such long term commitments on my blog.
But I do!  I really want to bring Seasons Change back!







 Just take a look at this wonderful colors autumn offers, I see it all around me while driving.

...and while riding my bike!

So I am thinking this time I will not focus on a specific place but look all around me.
For a whole year I will try to find the awesomeness  included in all four seasons,
perhaps the weather or a nature shot...
maybe display the holidays in turn
who knows?
...I don't want to be limited this time.

Yay Seasons Change will be back!!!
I will start on Thursday December 22 right when winter begins...
How lucky am I that winter begins on  a Thursday?
What do you all say would you like to follow along??
Stay tuned!
in the meantime, let's give thanks!
Happy Thanksgiving to all of you that celebrate it!


Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Etsy Finds...Corduroy

I've always loved corduroy.  
That cotton-filling fabric with vertical ridges. 
Warm, soft and cozy feeling!
As always in the handmade and vintage
world of etsy you can find lovely things

with lots of possibilities!  These are some of my favorites:


I enjoy this fabric in a tote like this!
mehran
 Or a corduroy jacket such as this one: I secretly wish I had this waist :)
TimjanDesign

Some ballerina flats, I've never had any but they can surely go on my wish list!
milimFashion

How about corduroy pillows!
yosalvovendo













I specially love corduroy pants.
86vintage86

Last but not least:  The corduroy story itself! Who would not love 
bear named Corduroy!
ricacandbuttons
Now tell me how can you not love corduroy?

Monday, November 21, 2011

Featured artist: Heidi from heidibg

Today I bring you Heidi from heidibg  take a look at all her lovely handmade goodies she offers and enjoy this warm interview!


1. Tell us as little or as much as you would like about yourself.
I was born and raised in the Indiana countryside and I now find myself living in the middle of Indianapolis with my 3 year old son Jack, but I long to return to my rural roots someday. I've illustrated 3 children's books and am currently working on a fourth.

Heidi and her son Jack
2. What do you sell?
I sell sock monkeys, buntings and artwork for nurseries and kid's rooms as well as personalized illustrated portraits.

Long Fabric Bunting
3. Why handmade? 
To me Handmade means something that's special and one-of-a-kind.  I come from a long line of creative individuals - quilters, crocheters, seamstresses, woodworkers - you name it. I grew up in a very do-it-yourself Mennonite household - my dad still makes furniture and the like for me whenever I ask. There's also a great personal satisfaction in coming up with an idea in your head and seeing it come to fruition with your own two hands. It's such a crazy and wonderful feeling when someone likes something you've made enough to want it for their own.

4. Where does your inspiration to create come from and/or your inspiration in life? 
Inspiration is everywhere. I take inspiration for my kid's stuff directly from my son. The crazy things he says and does and the honest way he makes fun out of just about anything gives me such a positive outlook on everything. I especially love going to antique stores and salvage yards or looking at old vintage fabric. I love things that have a history.

Sock Monkey Ornament
5. Besides creating what else do you do? 
Do you have a full time job? I am a full-time mom, the part-time circulation manager of the Angie's List magazine, children's book illustrator, sometimes website designer and the resident artist for a very unique farm market/restaurant here in town which requires me to do everything from painting peaches to picking up apples from Hoosier farmers.

6. When did you start thinking you were an artist? 
I feel really uncomfortable calling myself an artist actually for some reason or another. I graduated with an Art Major so I do have a technical background but it feels weird and elitist to call myself an artist sometimes. I've been creating since I was old enough to hold a crayon so it didn't really start, it's just always been. 

Alphabet Wall Cards
7. Who has been most influential in your craft work? 
That's a tough one, so many people influence your life and in turn your art. My mother is an excellent seamstress and old of my biggest cheerleaders. My dad is a very practical accountant but never even flinched when I said I wanted to be an art major. I've been blessed to have a sister and brother and so many friends that are so positive and encouraging.  I've been surrounded by people that believe in me and what I do since day one - that it helps me believe in myself. They all influence me and my work.
 
8. Where would you like to be in five years?  
I'd like to be living in an old house that I'm rehabbing with a little bit of land for a garden and some beehives and plenty of room for my child to run. I'd like to be creating full-time in addition to raising my family.


Argyle Sock Monkey
9. Is there anything you'd like to try doing that you haven't done?
crafts, sports, life in general? I would like to learn to play the banjo. I took some guitar lessons in college which were great but I didn't have the time to pursue it. Banjo music is great and it would be so fun to learn to play. I also want to keep bees I always have - but one must have the proper living space to do so.

10. Besides online where else do you sell? 
Friends and family frequently commission me to do work for them but as of now I'm not in any brick and mortar shops. I'm hoping to make that happen in 2012.



ways to contact you: 

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Life continued


I would like to thank you all my lovely friends  for your thoughts and comments on my last post!

My sister is out of the hospital now.  She is a bit upset because her pregnancy is now considered "high risk"  She will be on a blood thinning type of medication up until one week before the c-section delivery.  This will be injected in her tummy once a day, yes her tummy!! yikes!!!  And of course she will have to take extra precautions on her daily routines at home.  She is due some time in April.

Without a doubt this was a hard week for all of us (I mean mostly the adults because the kids thought they were having a party!)

Below are some of the things I realized, rediscovered and went through this past week.
  • Re-discovered the  sound a cheerio makes when you step on it.
  • Hunted the smell of a dirty diaper...well that really wasn't very hard.
  • I had to give medication every 4 hrs and wipe little noses.
  • Had to understand that a toddler does not fully follow directions as he took my folded laundry out of the basket not once but twice!
  • I had to multiply my loads of laundry.
  • Realized that my house is not baby proof anymore as one of my precious succulents was yanked out  right out of the pot :(
  • Had a toddler open the refrigerator and brought out a leftover piece of cake and told me with a smiley face and a singing voice "Happy Birthday to you?"  meaning: can I have some cake?
  • Had to run across town from two different elementary schools 20 minutes apart! Drop off and pick up.
  • Got scolded by my 7 yr. old niece "you're super late"...hello 20 minutes apart I thought!!!
  • Heard a nice compliment : "tia (auntie) those are the best waffles I've ever had"
  • Had a table full of elementary kids (3 kids... for me that's a full table!)  all needing help with their homework (4th grade math, newspaper report and writing a story)
  • Realized that I had helped Sophia with the same long division homework page the week before (as both her and my nephew Isaac are in the 4th grade...sigh!) LONG DIVISION!! DOUBLE SIGH!
  • I yelled more than usual.
  • I strictly banned and prohibited all sorts of toys that made noise(mainly for my own sanity).
  • Looked at my older nephew in the eyes and told him "Isaac, how many times do I have to tell you to listen to me??"  only to hear his answer "how many times do I have to tell you:  I love you!!" and then he  hugged me...that only melted my heart.
  • My mouth was faster than my brain at times...as I told them "go watch Viejito"  the baby's name is Dieguito and I switched the "V" and the "D" only to call the baby "old man"  that's was funny and we all cracked up!! nice stress reliever :)
  • Heard warm good byes "I will miss you tia"
  • Realized how much I love my family and how hard it is when they are hurting.
  • Tried to do everything I could possible do in order to help them!
After all my sister was my first baby and that's a fact!


    Thank you  again my lovies!

    Claudia

      Wednesday, November 16, 2011

      Life paused

      My life is kind of on pause right now.  My sister was admitted to the hospital Monday night.  
      She is 19 weeks  pregnant and has a blood cloth in her arm.  
      She is being treated with medication, both her and the baby are fine.  
      Of course her husband has to work and in the meantime I am watching her kids two which are 7 and 9 yrs old and this little one with a cold and a runny nose that doesn't keep him from running all over the place!





      I will be watching this little guy about 10 hrs a day and his brother and sister
      24 hrs a day.  She will be out of the hospital
      in a couple of days...or so they said you never really know.

      Did I ever say I wanted more kids??  yikes!!

      Hope I can talk to you guys soon.


      Monday, November 14, 2011

      Featured artist: Claudia from ClaudiaCupcakeLady


      Today I bring you Claudia from ClaudiaCupCakeLady  Enjoy this interview and her little and delicious creations!

      1. Tell us as little or as much as you would like about yourself
      My name is Claudia. I live in sunny Miami, Florida. I have been married for 13 years. I am a mom to 3 boys (ages 10, 8, and 2) Before being a homeschooling stay at home mom I was an insurance agent for 10 years. Although, I liked my job I always knew I was made to do something crafty and creative. About 3 years ago I started to make cupcakes for family and friends and I made my first fondant topper for my adorable little cousin Emma (Minnie Mouse) I loved it!!! It was like being a child again and playing with play dough.


      2. What do you sell?
      I sell fondant cupcake decorations on Etsy. I also sell decorated cupcakes for locals in Miami.

      Minnie Mouse Cupcake Fondant toppers
      3. Why handmade?
      I think there is something so special and unique with hand made items. Not just my toppers but everything. Hand made items tell their own story and the same goes with my pieces, no two toppers are the same. All of my fondant toppers are hand colored and hand cut. Although the toppers might look similar they are each different. To me that gives it character. To me I am able to express my passion and the love I have for what I create.

      4. Where does your inspiration to create come from and/or your inspiration in life?
      My inspirations comes from everything! The other day we went on vacation and I saw a beautiful Asian picture on a wall and thought "hey, that would be a cute topper" I see something unrelated like a Christmas stamp and think "wow, i can make something that looks like that..." To me everything starts to look like cupcake decoration if I look at it for more that a few second ;)

      5. Besides creating what else do you do? Do you have a full time job?
      My most important job is homeschooling my boys. I love being able to share with them the joy of learning. My job duties also include cooking and cleaning. Although, I do have someone that comes to help me every week.

      Poker chip and dice fondant cupcake topper
       6. When did you start thinking you were an artist?
      I have never though of myself like an artist but now that you mention it, i guess I am. I always have just considered myself as someone with a passion for creativity.


      Race Fondant cupcake topper
      7. Who has been most influential in your craft work?
      I would have to say my husband. Even though I have an eye for the creative side of things, he is a builder so he has an eye for symmetry and scales... so I am always asking him "How does this look?" "Does it look real?" Not to mention that he gives me the man view for all my toppers. We have been married for so long that he truly does balance me in all aspects of my life including my artsy side.

      8. Where would you like to be in five years?
      In Europe on vacation :) I would like to see how far I can take my fondant topper business. Have different branches of my business and expand into different party areas. For my personal life, my children will be older so I would like to travel more with them and show them the world.

      Christmas Light Bulbs Fondant topper
      9. Is there anything you'd like to try doing that you haven't done?
      crafts, sports, life in general? Probably camping. Once again, the boys in my life have been trying to convince me for years and I think they might have convinced me enough to actually try it. The weather is cooling down some and the time seems right, so maybe I'll give it a try soon.

      Football Fondant cupcake topper
       10. Besides online where else do you sell?
      I sell cupcakes and small cakes from home to local customers that get referred by family and friends.













      ways to contact you:

      * shop * blog * email *

       

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