Friday, July 24, 2009
Bigger place with my roomie, and I couldn't be happier! It's sure going to be a busy weekend- but we'll manage.
I think the fact that I'm moving from the big parking-lot area part of the complex to the top of the hill, overlooking the other side of town, and deck now faces woods instead of neighbors- has inspired me to "Get Green". I like to garden- used to do it at home, where my Mother has a beautiful garden landscaped around the house. I had a little section of my own that I tended- with Bleeding Hearts, Pansies, Hostas and other flowers that caught my fancy. My favorite was the Bleeding Heart- pink. They were my Grandmother's plants, and it's been "killed" many times over by the lawn-mower. It kept growing back- and when we moved from CT to NH, I took it with me. It's literally over 50 years old- nice strong roots!
Anyways, I digress!
Moving to this new place has inspired me to bring a little bit of "garden" inside. (since i obviously can't plant a garden in the forest- i know some jerk will ruin it...) I've always loved terrariums, and perhaps I'll make my own. But searching for inspiration on Etsy, I came across some lovely specimens that make me just want to whip out the debit card and purchase away. I'd totally hang the bulbs from wrought iron hangers I have, and place artfully on shelves I plan to purchase. Have to remember- fiesty kitten joins my household on Monday! Cats do love to get in to things they're not supposed to...
So, here's what I'll share thusfar from my finds on Etsy- I hope you enjoy!
Here's a weakness of mine- Teapots- and this design is from WeeGreenSpot's Shop. I simply can't get enough of them. I'd collect them, but I buy too many crystals to support another obsession... Unless business picks up, of course! I love the shape, the almost country look, and of course- who wouldn't want a cup of green tea and moss?
Next up is another possibilty- since I have a fondness for glass, and Apothecary Jars are just so pleasant to look at.
This beautiful Terrarium is from Greenbriar. The little toadstools are the cutest things I've seen yet- imagine a fairy sitting atop her little perch! I also love how everything is layered in this one- it just brings so much green inside- it's almost like having a garden. Almost...
Speaking of absolutely whimsical, this adorable "Gnome's Laundry Day" is from doodlebirdie. Precious!
I've never seen such tiny-scale and adorable "clothes" for Gnomes! This one definitely makes me go "AWWWWW!"... This one is definitely a one of a kind idea, and a wonderful one at that! I vote more Gnome Laundry Day Terrariums!
Sometimes, simplicity is key. And such is truthful by taking a look at this teensy, tiny moss garden. It's offered by starcrazy8.
I'm in *love*. I like simple, tasteful, elegant... Tiny... I'm a small person, so small things intrigue me. It makes me feel "normal" I suppose, though there's nothing wrong with being short! The look and feel of these- I can picture about 5 of them lined up in a row- and of how absolutely gorgeous they'd be on a shelf!
Last, but not least... The typical Etsian (i think) DIY mentality. I mean, we're ALL crafters, right? That means handmade... Which means we like creating and crafting... And I'll cut to the chase... !
Visit WarmCountryMeadow for an awesome little kit that comes with everything you need to create one of your own Terrariums!
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
This isn't a jewelry post today.
It's a mask post.
I've had quite a few compliments, and inquiries, as to where I dug these two beauties up- but then again, they may not quite be your thing. To each their own I suppose!
Anyways... I like dressing up and going to Ren Faires. We had a very small one that we organized a few years ago back home in NH, but it was mostly local vendors. The only downfall to the entire thing was that it really wasn't advertised well at all- which had it been me, there would have been all sorts of marketing going on.
However- all in all, we had a really good turnout.
Skip to last year, when I moved down to Virginia, and didn't know what a REAL one was... And I was amazed. An entire little town to walk around in... Who would have thought?!
Checking out all the different shops, there were literally hundreds of things I wanted to buy... From little handblown glass ornaments, to flower headbands, to dresses and corsets and handmade chalices- I'm sure I looked like a drooling Pirate. Yes- purple and black lace corset, pirate hat with big feather, red and black skirts.. It was great. Though- I imagine to everyone passing by I looked more like a fish with it's mouth gaping wide, drooling all over the wares... But not literally. LOL.
I found the Mask Shoppe quite by accident, as I was wandering around and found two girls selling adorable "horns" made of fimo clay and attached by tying the string behind your neck. I'll show pictures later of that, it's funny. They had three locations across the fairgrounds selling them, and two of the three sold out the weekend we were there! Many, many people- from little 5 and 6 year olds to a stately old woman in a wheelchair were seen sporting around in them... So cute!!! So the girls that were helping me get a pair of horns for my sister said "Go peek in the shop- you seem like you'd find something in there that you'd like."
I did. In every sense of the word- I found the Goblin Mask! While there were various gorgeous hand made, handformed, and handpainted masks available... It was something about this little grumpy one that just screamed at me. I had to have it.
So I bought it.
Now the interesting thing is that I liked it. I had no intention of wearing it for Halloween- as it was fast approaching, and I had an idea for a costume already. So I hit up another mask shop on the way out that evening- and bought the one seen below. I'm a total sucker for anything that has glitter. And this has feathers, and rhinestones to boot. Yep. Cha-ching. Got this one too.
So as you can tell, I bought the two masks the same day... And yes, I knew they were both green. But I didn't think to combine them both together until I was literally walking out of the Ren-Faire with them in my hand. I didn't get a gift bag or anything with their purchase (which kinda irked me) but meh... It worked. I slipped one on top of the other....
And Voila! The Goblin Queen emerged!
And to finish the ensemble off, of course you need some sparkles. And what better than a hot-pink rhinestoned star?! This is, of course, one of my own pieces not for sale... But I love the rainbows it throws off anytime I move! Here you have it... Components of the costume I created last year.
I think, depending on more jewelry that I craft, that the masks both will have to be "models" for me.
This one here is, after all, for my jewelry.
So, if you'd like to see what I create for dinner, or just in general when I decide to cook on a whim, you can find me at http://italian-girl-recipes.blogspot.com
That's where the food will be hanging out :)
Monday, July 20, 2009
I didn't like the way the images came out- and since I'm a nitpicker, perfectionist... Bah! I just like really good pictures. Great pictures. High quality, catch your eye ones.
When I have images that I feel are sub-par, I tend to not do anything with them. They don't convey the detail of my jewelry, so I figure why would people actually want to stop and look if they're less than average quality. I may be wrong, but that's my take. Many of the pix I've snapped just didn't cut it- they were too close, too blurry, too far away, not quite catching the "essence" of my jewelry. None of the pictures gave it the wow factor. I was not impressed, since the detail some of my pieces have need to be captured in order to convey the feeling of the piece itself. It's not just about a pretty sparkle. I know details need to be seen. And none of the pictures conveyed that.
I never in a thousand years thought that I could possibly get this much detail, this much color, this much... WOW. What do you think?
I've always loved dangly earrings- since I can remember. And anything that's ever sparkled- well, impossible to keep me away from. I'm serious! Glitter, crystals, diamonds, faceted stones... If it's got any possibility of reflecting light in an enticing manner.... This girl has to stop and inspect it.
I'm not really one to wear many pastel colors, but I do have to admit that in selecting my crystals lately- they've definitely been geared to soft and delicate colors. Like the Jonquil and Antique rose "Changeling" earrings pictured- there's something soft and romantic about the colors- and just totally irresistible. The inspiration for these came from the fact that I have a ton of earrings. But when you buy them just out and about, they all have the same, exact earwire. Ho-hum, boring. I like my jewelry to stand out from the crowd. I want someone to go "OH, where did you find those?!"
So yes, it's become my habit to fashion my own earwires and slip on the dangle part (unless they're the kind you can't) and slip the dangle on a custom pair. I usually get stopped and have inquries as to where I've found the earwires. To which I simply say- I make them myself
It didn't dawn on me until later that I should actually make the components and offer them for sale- both the earwires in a selection of shapes- like the leaf pair I pictured above- and the dangles- which can be done in hundreds of combinations, with crystals, stones, silver beads... You name it. The possibilities are endless. The customizations are yours. You essentially pick out and create the type of earring you want.
Voila! A one of a kind creation.
Now the ones below... They're threaded themselves on the earwire- so it's all one solid piece. I like these, since they're sturdy and free-formed. Imspired by leaves, and accented with different crystal colors- I chose Tanzanite to make my first pair. I had done these years ago, with different beads- and lets just say that the final result wasn't impressive at all. However, after discovering that Swarovski now makes top-drilled bicones... I couldn't be happier.
The beads themselves remind me of little diamonds- without the huge price tag. Tanzanite is quickly becoming one of my favorite colors- the tone of the purple changes from an almost lavender, to a deep amethyst.
I think being on this type of an earwire, it really shows off the different facets that the beads have, as well as being simple as well. Understated is sometimes the best statement a girl can make.
Again- I'm not terribly in to pastel shades for myself... But the tones of this necklace reminds me of Easter for some reason. The little bicone crystals were bought in "color packs" in Maine- and I haven't been able to find the colors again. I think they were a special limited time offering. The only ones I've used in it that are available are the Peridot (green) and Jonquil (yellow). The pinks I haven't been able to match to any current colors- so they're unique indeed! And if you look at the pearls, you can see me and the camera in the reflection... Talk about detail!!!
I'm holding on to her for a little while.... A friend has expressed some interest, so this little beauty is staying stashed for a little while.
So if anyone out there cares to let me know what they think of my pictures so far- I'd love to know. I haven't had any feedback- and while I think they look pretty good... I'd like some outside opinions too. More of them are in my Etsy shop too... So if you swing by there and take a look, you should be able to see all the ones I've taken so far. Actually, now that I remember... You can just gaze to the right to see what's currently listed... Wow, I have moments!
Thursday, July 16, 2009
I hunt around often on Etsy, and online in general, and find plenty of other jewelry makers with gorgeous items and the pictures to match. I've been getting discouraged because while my items are pretty and detailed, my camera has failed to capture the details that matter. The ones that make you go "OH, wow, need to check that out." Heck- I even see things online that I just plain don't like, aren't my thing, and I'd never be interested anyways... But a great photo makes me pause and take a look.
And since I can't just "scan" pictures in... I've been left no other option.
also enter panic mode right now because etsy is "down for maintenance" and they want to show STUPID videos. i don't want to watch them... i want to edit my listings dang it....
But... I'm guilty. I made an impulse buy, of course after verifying I do indeed have the finances available, and I have to say I'm quite happy with my decision. The pictures I've been snapping are incredible... My old Samsung camera- that's being used as an SD card reader to the computer to upload the photos at this point. Why? I'm on an older comp, and it irritates me. The new snapper is so fast, it doesn't have a high-speed USB port to plug in to. Plus this baby is HD. And the computer doesn't recognize it and allow me to upload pix right from it to online- which I think is convenient, and I like very much. Especially to Facebook!
I use my camera for everything. I'm like a photojournalist. I take pictures often.
And I have to say, I'm a sucker for Canon.
I've pretty much always used them as a camera company- my "old" one now is 7 years and Samsung. It's served its purpose, and now I have a better one. The beater I'm sure will accompany me for outings that don't require high resolution images... But who knows!
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
Sorry to be Debbie Downer tonight.
I'm still crafting- and I'm sure I'll keep it as a hobby... It's just... Well... It's tough to keep your chin up when the sky is falling down around you. That's all.
I know the sun will be up tomorrow, and it's supposed to be a beautiful day at that. And I'm happy for it. Really, I am! It would just be so nice to find other people to connect with on here... And while I see everyone else doing it just fine... It's always been a struggle for me.
I don't know why.
I didn't think I was unfriendly.
Yes, a bit ditzy at times... And sometimes confused. But I've been told it's quite endearing- and that's my story and I'm sticking to it.
So venting that moment just kinda cheered me up.
I'm excited to announce that I'll be moving in just over a week.... To a bigger, brighter place. Why so great?
I'll be at the top of a hill. I'll be one of 4 building apartments total- so whoever's in the other three, I don't think they'll be able to generate a TON of noise. But that remains to be seen. I'm trying to be optimistic here! My roommate is going to create his own "Man Cave"... And I think I'm going for the Japanese/Cherry Blossom look for my own room. Reds, pinks and blacks.
The most exciting thing?
I finally get my own bathroom!
No more sharing with a boy! YAY!
And I'm totally going for cool, calm colors.... Hello spa and place I'll want to hang out every night! I can feel the relax starting now... Couple candles going, rose oil burning, soft music... Melodies... Ahhhh.
I could drift off to sleep right now.
I feel better :)
Sunday, July 12, 2009
The new place, however, will not get away so easily.
I've been searching high and low online for inexpensive ways to decorate my walls, short of spending about a hundred bucks and painting rooms. There was also the wallpaper option- but that's such a mess to deal with. I remember wallpapering our kitchen with Mom... And needless to say, while we got off to a rocky start- it ended up looking fabulous.
I ended up covered in wallpaper paste.
So an idea that I came across earlier today has really intrigued me to no end... Because, if in fact this does work... I'm not only doing my room, I'm sure my roommate will do his as well... And I'd like to do the living room too for a little more oomph!
Fabric + Liquid Starch = Wallcovering
I didn't quite believe it when I read it... But it seems that after purchasing fabric, it needs a gentle washing to get the sizing out. Ok, no problem. I do it with any fabric stuff I buy.
Next, make sure you have a rotary cutter on hand- to trim the edges and such once hung. Dump the liquid startch in to a bucket, and let the fabric get wet. (for me, I'd probably put the starch in the bathtub...) Wring it out so it's not so wet, and then starting from the ceiling, "press" your "wallpaper" to the wall. A squee-gee or braser will help as well to smooth the fabric nice and neatly. Viola! Wallpaper!
I also think I'd modify it a bit by pushing some thumbtacks in to the wall at the very top, about every foot or so just in case! Cut around areas with the rotary cutter or scissors, to take out windows and doors. (Or just pre-cut those pieces!) If it's a fabric pattern- remember to line it up... It will look silly all mis-matched otherwise!
It will take a little while to dry- let it do so by airdrying. Don't put a fan or hairdryer to it.
The best thing? When you want to remove it... Peel a corner, pull, and off it comes.
Wash your fabric and use it for another craft... Or another room, if there's enough!
I can't tell you how much I love this idea.
Of course, I'll test a patch of wall before I decide to do the entire thing... But this excites me!
If it does indeed cause no wall damage... I will most definitely take pictures and show! The bathroom will most likely also get a makeover too!!!
No more bare walls in the white scary apartments!!!
Saturday, July 11, 2009
So. Bottom line.
Nest Blossoms is holding a blog giveaway for a simply beautiful ring:
Told you it was looker, didn't I?
There's something just so simply endearing about a handstamped ring... Pendants, lovely, yes. Rings? So much more personal. Dainty. Feminine. Awww, yes... It's quite late, or early depending on how you're looking at it, and I've had a LONG day. But it hasn't stopped me from falling head over heels for this unique piece.
So I'm sharing with you all, instead of being greedy and keeping it to myself :)
Pass it along!! Check out Samantha's Blog too- there are so many prettily illustrated items, you'll immediately want to go back to her blog for a visit and to check for frequent updates!
Friday, July 10, 2009
Now, while I moved down here over a year ago... I left a lot of my stock at home in NH. Which is ok- Mom loves to go through and use some of my stuff- but I've also put on the "Fear for your Life if you touch THIS" stickers on a few cases... That's ok to do, right?!
Well... That means I've had to replenish my stock of sparklies.
Yes, yes yes... Expensive- but I can't help it!
But it's not always about breaking the bank when it comes to crafting pretty and simple designs.
It doesn't mean rent and car payments get tossed out the window- it just means you may have to look a little harder... That's all.
One of my favorite finds has been some pressed glass beads.
They're so versatile, and while the posts are brass.... I don't like using them to add to Sterling or "gold" chains. I can't stand using "fake gold", and I don't really prefer to use the gold filled kind either unless I have to. And well... Lets face it... Real, pretty gold is expensive.
My compromise is ribbon.
It's so versatile, dreamy, and available in almost any color you could want.
Like for the Princess Necklace- light pink organza looks adorable with an array of dark pink hearts, and a focal point of a peach leaf.
And the glass- with it's bubbles and quirks- is truly one of a kind. Each bead is different, no two exactly alike. Charming really.
I also like that they don't have any sharp edges- so nothing for a child, or big kid, to get snagged or accidentally cut upon.
A woodland faerie needs to be appropriately decked out with her leaves, does she not?
The greens of this glass are so vibrant, so "silky" they're nearly enticing you to come touch... Take a look... And the ribbon, well, it has a sparkle all of its own.
Who can resist a little necklace that has a miniature heart, on the opposite side of where one would expect to find a matching leaf!? I know I wouldn't be able to!
A simple, yet grand, way for your little one to frolick around at a Ren Faire, the prettiest little Faerie in the wood.
Even though these necklaces are "smallish", they do have 2" extenders on the end. So while they would fit like a smaller necklace at 16", they could certainly be elongated to fit a little better as well... For a bigger Forest Fairy!
And who can forget sunshine?!
Little drops of liquid amber, dripping down off the sun herself... To be collected and fashioned in to a stunning iridescent necklace of yellow leaves.
While certainly not perfect, these glass beads each display a different character of their own... And in doing such, makes each piece as unique as their adorner.
Who would have thought a length of ribbon, a clasp, a few knots and some glass would turn out these beautiful little creations?!
Who doesn't LOVE yellow in the summer?
Well, I suppose not everyone has to like yellow... But I think of sunshine, lemons, warm summer days. And the newest inspiration for a pair of earrings I've just made.
*first picture is a direct link to listing
As if on cue, as you're sipping a freshly made Lemon Drop in a Martini Glass, ice cold... The facets of these earrings throw the light like you wouldn't believe!
Be it sunlight, moonlight, candlelight.... You name it- these dazzling rondelle beads from Swarovski will throw the light in so many facets it's amazing!
Topped with bicones, and sterling silver spacers- these are elegantly simple in their design.
I've made the earwires as well, 20 Gauge Sterling Silver wire fashioned in an inverted "V" for a classic look, while also avoiding the "slippage" that some other earring designs suffer from..... I know I've lost a few because the backings weren't long enough. (haven't we all?!)
In this picture, you can see a little more detail with this particular kind of bead...
Can you imagine how many facets are cut in to these beads in order to make them throw the light off this spectacularly?! From any angle, these beads reflect light.... And have quickly run away with my own heart!
So go ahead.... Get out the martini glasses, spritz on a bit of perfume, slip these little rays of sunshine into your ears...
And call it a Perfect Yellow Day!