Friday, January 29, 2010

"Friday Features"

It's Friday so that means "Features Time!"

I am very excited to bring you another talented member of our Etsy community. This week it is a lovely Jewelry maker, Sandy, from;

She has kindly answered some questions for us :)

1). Tell us a little about how you got to where you are creatively.

I never considered myself a creative person at all until recently. I've always been a do-it-yourself type - gardening, canning, sewing the occasional throw pillow, but I've never been able to draw, and my formal art education stopped at 9th grade art class. Then one day early this year I miraculously had no children in tow and decided to go into the local bead store downtown here in Mt. Vernon. I saw the amazing selection and variety of semiprecious beads, and I was hooked. Initially I just made a few earrings - stacks on headpins - but then I bought a book on basic wire-wrapping techniques, and I fell in love with wire. I love the clean brightness of silver and the warm gleam of copper, and the way it just goes where you put it and stays there!

2). Tell us a little about your creative process.

I find a lot of inspiration in the town where I live. Mount Vernon is a very small historic city in central Ohio, with lots of beautiful old homes on brick streets with beautiful formal and informal gardens. The town is surrounded by farmland, and has a wonderful bike trail running more than twenty miles through the countryside alongside the Kokosing river to the next three towns. I love it here, and I think the atmosphere is reflected in a lot of what I make. Some items are directly inspired by what I see around me. Other things are inspired by the beads or wire themselves.

Warm Hearts Bracelet.

3). What do you love about creating?

The wonderful sense of accomplishment I get when I've made something I know is an interesting and high-quality item.

4). What is your favourite item in your Etsy store right now?

I actually have a couple of favorites. I love the green and copper in my Moorish Jade Bracelet. Copper with green stones or crystals is one of my favorite combinations - I adore the contrast. I also love the Northern Lights Crystal Wrap Earrings - they're so much fun, and they'll go with anything.

5). Why Etsy?

It just offers so much! You can create such an amazing, professional-looking shop with such a reasonable amount of effort. And it gets way more traffic than any website I could create setting up as an unknown.

Black Widow Earrings.

6). What do you love about Etsy?

One thing that I've found to be really amazing and wonderful on Etsy is the wealth of information that people (who are competitors!) are willing to share on the forums. Marketing and self-promotion are really foreign-feeling concepts for me, and the advice I've found in the forums has been invaluable.

7). What do you do in your spare time?

I have three kids and a day-job! What spare time? ...I do find time to read occasionally. I was always an avid reader, and I don't have as much time as I used to, but I still try to get something in once in a while. I still really enjoy jewelry - I turn to that when I have a spare moment, as something that I look forward to, not as a 'job'. And I enjoy playing strategy pc games. Civilization is my all-time favorite game series.

Winter Blues Butterfly Necklace.

8). Tell us 4 things about yourself that would let us peek into your world or that you think define you.

1). I work in a locally owned game store. I don't actually play any console games (I'm a pc girl), but I enjoy the customers and LOVE the people I work with and for.

2). My husband and I watch Spongebob sometimes even when the kids aren't around (I have Spongebob on right now, in fact).

3). I love to bike, and before life got too hectic I used to go down and back the Kokosing Gap Trail a couple of times a week.

4). I live in a house that's 170 years old - sometimes it gets ahead of us with the maintenance, but I wouldn't trade it for anything! It has so much character. (But no closets downstairs - WHERE did they keep their stuff in the 1830s?)

9). If you could, what would be your dream life?

I think I'm actually pretty close! More money, as I'm sure everyone would like. But I have a wonderful, supportive husband and three amazing kids - really all I need.

Here are some of the places you can check out Sandy's work :)

Etsy shop:


I hope you enjoyed meeting Sandy! I certainly did. Go check out her shop on Etsy :)

Have a Wonderful Weekend! :)

Happy Painting/Creating! :) T.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

The Little Grey Jacket.

When my kids were little they all wore this jacket. :)

It was a cuddly winter coat. I can't believe it survived all three kids thru multiple Winters and countless washings and so many adventures, mud pies to snowy mountain tops and many a pizza dinner.

Because it was a size 6 and they all wore it from ages 2 thru 4 the sleeves were always rolled up.

My kids were all tall so the length was great with room for scarves and sweaters underneath.

Invariably they tended to wear it open a lot of the time.

So, when the youngest had out grown the jacket, I did this quick sketch as a memory keeper. (Is there another theme to my blogs other then the weather :)

It was, as you can imagine, well used. I couldn't resell it, I couldn't donate it. It had so much of us in it that I decided to pack it into a box, along with a couple of my fav. baby items and stored them away in the attic.

You can imagine the challenge I had trying to sketch this with 3 kids running around; charcoal isn't the best thing to have out but with my best parenting skills in place I got them occupied being creative along side me using their own personal art supplies.

Happy Wednesday!

Don't forget to enter my January Giveaway :)

Happy Painting/Creating! :) T.

Monday, January 25, 2010

January Giveaway!

Well, it is the New Year and I think it is time for another giveaway :)

I finally got the Christmas tree down and the decorations put away so I am on a roll.

I racked my brains to come up with a little different giveaway this time. I've done the Art giveaway, the Vintage giveaway, the Hand Made giveaway so what is left????????...................

Then it dawned on me I have started to list a few de-stash items in my hand made store and with all the bead fans out there I thought this one would be very appropriate.

So, here we are! :)

I have these beads, but sadly I do not know much about beads and can't tell you too much about them :(

I do know they are glass, have some beautiful striation to them. There is 8 all together, each has a some clear bead at the base, followed by an almost tiger striped bead (measures approx. half an inch) then topped by a green bead and then a clear bead all on a wire. Just adding a wire and you have a gorgeous earring.

As there are 4 pairs, I think it would be fun to have 4 winners. :)

It is really simple to enter this giveaway :)

Just be a follower on my blog and leave a comment on this posting, you will be entered into a drawing, which will happen on January 31st, winners will be announced on my blog on February 1st. :)
So, have fun :)

Happy Monday!

Happy Painting/Creating! :) T.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

New "Heart" Artwork in my Etsy Shop :)

I am so excited to present these 2 pieces of new artwork to you. :)

"Heart" Artwork just in time for Valentines' Day :)

Here is the link to "Two Hearts"

So, I wanted to offer a special discount to any of my fellow bloggers out there who want to give affordable artwork to their loved ones this holiday. Anyone, who follows my blog who wants to buy anything from my shops from now until the end of February can just contact me and get a 50% discount. Yep, you are reading right :) I didn't celebrate the great 200 followers on my blog and so better late than never :) this is As a Thank you :)

Happy Painting/Creating! :) T.

Friday, January 22, 2010

It's Done!


I am soooo excited :) I actually finished making my sons' sports Tee-shirt memory quilt and popped it in the mail to him at college in Ohio, it should arrive today.

I posted, on my blog, back in September that I had finished the top and thought I had plenty of time to finish the quilt before the cold weather set in ( Here she goes again, talking about the weather :) But with trips and the Holidays the time got away from me and I was so busy doing other things I had to wait for the holidays to be over before I could work on it again.

But now it is DONE! (YAY!!!!!!!)

Lots of the T's he wore as a kid are from soccer, baseball, basketball league games and sports camps to professional teams he followed.

It is an easy quilt to make, just a little time consuming, cutting out the squares, getting them to work together and hand stitching all the hems, but it was well worth it and I am very pleased with the end result. :)

I decided to machine the quilt together rather than tie it; there are 2 layers of organic cotton batting in the middle and then I backed it with warm fleece. This should definitely keep him warm :)

What I like about all of this is that when I told my Son, the other day, that the quilt was finished and on its way, he was genuinely excited and grateful. That made me a very proud Mom of a college freshman :)

So, if I can suggest anything to all you Moms who have young kids right now it would be to save their favourite Tee's and make a Memory quilt one day, this is as good a memory keeper as a scrapbook. :)

Have a Wonderful Weekend!

Happy Painting/Creating! :) T.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

It is Time for a G.Sale!

Last Summer I had one of my sons help me organise our large attic. Most things that could go into boxes were already in them but there were boxes everywhere. They were labeled but not to the detail they are now, numbered and a complete list of content and who it all belongs to.

But, over the past few months, as seems to happen with our family of five, there is even more stuff, literally stuffed into the attic. I know I must be guilty of most of this stuff coming into the house but I am always amazed at how much stuff exists, given that we have a Garage Sale every three years and donate to Goodwill.

I love having Garage Sales. People are so interesting. I love chatting to people, they always have stories to tell, even if it is about the last Garage Sale they just went to.

So, that is the large attic and then we have a smaller attic which mainly consists of my packaging boxes and materials but when I took the photos the other day, I realised there is G.Sale stuff in there too! I really think it is procreating, 'cause I have no clue how it got there.

Now, I am pulling things out of cupboards and closet around the house to add even more to the chaos. But it is time to have yet another G.Sale. I will have to wait 'til the summer when the boys are home from college because there are some big, heavy beds in there.

The one thing I do not like about G.Sales is labeling ever item and you can't do it too early because the stickers just fall off. :(
Anyone else have Garage Sale stories :)
BTW, if you don't already know about Stacey at Artsnark wrote a neat blog about it yesterday :) There is some cool items for sale and they are raising for such a good cause.
Happy Painting/Creating! :) T.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Dawn Glow.

I woke up early the other morning and this is what I saw :)

I was so blown away, I had to drag myself out of bed to snap these photos before this beautiful glow disappeared and it did very quickly. (Of course, I fell back into bed and went straight back to sleep :)

As rain is predicted all week and it was very intense yesterday, I had to go and take a look at these shots to help me remember what a clear morning looks like.

Have you noticed that I blog a lot about the weather; I read recently that people use the weather in conversation as an ice breaker. Oops! Sorry about the luke warm pun :)

Anyway, I am not sure I agree with that statement but I do know that the weather is a huge part of our lives and especially for me it can sometimes either make or break the day :)

How about you?

Hope you are having a wonderful Monday!

Happy Painting/Creating! :) T.

Friday, January 15, 2010

"Friday Features"

It's Friday, and after a little break, I am back with another "Friday Features". I am really happy to bring you another wonderfully talented member of our Etsy community and a great blogger too! This week I would like to introduced you to a lovely Jewelry maker, Victoria, from;

She has kindly answered some questions for us :)

Tell us a little about how you got to where you are creatively.

I've been making earrings and necklaces for myself out of random objects since I was a kid - using my mom's eyebrow tweezers to swap pendants or hang things from ear hooks. Last summer I decided I needed a creative outlet, and frustration trying to find the perfect necklace led me to realize I could just make it myself!

Tell us a little about your creative process.

Sometimes I have a specific image in mind for a piece of jewelry, and I will seek out the pieces for it. Mostly though I just buy parts that I love and dump them all out on my desk and wait for them to sort of assemble themselves - trying out different combinations until something clicks. When I get stuck, I often go to my mom to try and help me - she's helped me design some of my favourite pieces!

What do you love about creating?

I like starting out with all the random charms, jewels, chain and findings and eventually making something I'm proud of, and being all, "I could have bought that in a store but hey! I made it! And it's just as good!"

Plasma-Purple glass bracelet.

What is your favourite item in your Etsy store right now?

Ooh, that's a hard one. I love the blown glass spheres in some of my earrings, but I'm also having fun with all the cool brass creature stampings I've been playing with. Okay, if I have to pick, I will say my Asteroidea starfish earrings:

Asteroidea - antique copper, rhinestone, and honey blown glass starfish earrings

Why Etsy?

I had heard about Etsy from a girl at school (weirdbuglady) and used it at first as a buyer. When I started creating, it was the perfect place to start selling my trinkets.

What do you love about Etsy?

For the most part, my impression has been that the items sold on Etsy are great quality, and the artists really put a lot of heart into their pieces. There is also a great network between sellers and buyers - there are so many great opportunities to interact with people on the chats, forums, Facebook, and blogs like this one!

Hirundo - blue crystal and antique silver bird earrings

What do you do in your spare time?

My what? Spare time is something I don't have a lot of at the moment... being in school full time, taking 6 classes, working, volunteering, being on the student society council, making jewelry, trying to have a social life, working on vet school applications and, oh yeah, sleeping don't make for a lot of downtime. I do make sure I get in my TV time though - I love Glee, Dollhouse, and Lost!!

Tell us 4 things about yourself that would let us peek into your world or that you think define you.

I'm pretty much defined by school at the moment. My major is wildlife biology, so I'm learning a lot about the ecology and physiology of animals. I really love school, which is a good thing, because if all goes well I will be doing up to 9 more years of it between vet school, specializations, and a master's degree! However, in a past life (aka the two years between high school and university) I tried really hard to break into film and theatre as an actor. So next year, if things calm down a little, I kind of want to audition for a chorus role in our community theatre.

My hobbies include photography, scuba diving, birdwatching, and cooking.

My favourite place in the whole world (so far) is Tofino, British Columbia. But I really want to travel to Scotland. Unfortunately, I have a fear of airplanes.

If you could, what would be your dream life?

Working as a veterinary reproductive biologist in wildlife and conservation medicine!

Here are some of the places you can check out Victoria's work :)

Etsy shop:


I hope you enjoyed meeting Victoria! I certainly did. Go check out her shop on Etsy :)

Have a Wonderful Weekend! :)

Happy Painting/Creating! :) T.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Bobbin Lace.

Recently, someone convo-ed me on Etsy to ask if I had any photos of lace that I had made. It came about because I have some antique lace for sale in my Etsy shop Vintage T and mentioned that I was a lacemaker and knew the amount of time that went into each piece made.

I realised that I didn't have any photos of my work and it got me thinking that maybe I should. So, I rounded up a few of the items I have and here they are. I hope you enjoy them. :)

This is a baby carriage that I made 20 years ago when I was pregnant. Definitely the most challenging piece I have done.

I am an avid reader and so of course I had to make myself a bookmark, I use this everyday and have done for 20 + years. (Yes, I do wash it occasionally :)

This was a fun piece to make, I love the spider pattern (next to the spoon top) and also the rose ground pattern (next to the spoon handle).

I liked making this piece purely because I used a different colour than traditional lace colours.

This lace doily edge has a broader thread which is worked in called a Gimp thread, not a great name but it gives a nice dimension. I always intended to place this piece on a red velvet background and hang it like the baby carriage piece but like all good intentions.................. maybe one day...............

The same goes for this lace collar, I only managed to get one side done, there is at least 30 hours of work in this, so maybe one day I will get its partner done.

closer detail of the collar.

These are some of the bobbins I use. I love the different woods that can be used to make bobbins and all the hand painting. (No, I didn't paint them :) It takes 24 pairs of bobbins to make the bookmark. That is a lot of threads to keep organised.

The beads are on the ends to help weight the bobbins down and help balance when weaving.
I have to admit I haven't had the time or energy to make any lace in a long time, but I do have my bobbins wound and ready to go, so maybe I will get my lace making pillow out one of these
Stay tuned! :)
Happy Painting/Creating! :) T.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Geese at McDonalds!

So, I was driving along the highway, the other day, when I saw out of the corner of my eye, a gaggle of Geese grazing right under a McDonald's drive thru sign, it cracked me up, even geese go to MCeeDee's.

Of course, at the time, I was whizzing by at 50 miles an hour and didn't have my camera in the car. I was a considerable distance from my home but I really wanted to get that shot, so later that day I returned but the geese had gone. Not to be put off, trying to be the intrepid photographer, I tried the next day, only to find the geese were quite happily occupied by some bread throwing humans outside another restaurant right next to the "Do Not Feed the Birds" sign. What to do????

I guess, at this point I am a little disappointed but still want to find the shot. I wait, no these people are in for the long haul.


Having had several children participate in multiple sports over the years so I am very familiar with the location of every McDonald's this side of the Rockies (well, maybe not all but you get my point) and there are a few closer to rivers that I thought I would find more geese having a
Mc. attack, I was so excited to find these guys :)

That goose is definitely eyeing that sign :)

Waiting for their fries??

On their way to McDonald's :)

No, I am being good, I didn't have any :)

Happy Painting/Creating! :) T.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Cold, Cold Britain!

A friend in Manchester, England sent this photo to us yesterday. It is a satellite photo of Britain completely covered in snow. I was absolutely blown away by the beauty of this image but also a little unnerved because that is what my son flew back to on Tuesday. Thankfully, he only experienced slight flight delays (he squeaked in between storms in Northern and Southern England.)

image taken by Nasa's Terra satellite

Here's hoping that the temperatures rise soon :) Snowballs fights and Snowman building are only enjoyable for a few days.

Happy Painting/Creating! :) T.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Washing away 2009!

I went for a walk, on New Years' Day, at the little park not very far from our home; the river Tualatin runs along side and it was very full, moving fast and powerful. I have a few spots I like to stand and gaze at the river, there rarely is anyone else around which makes it easy to contemplate life. As I watched the river and slowly drifted off in my mind, I was mentally tossing 2009 into the river. Can't say it was a truly great year, too many stressful things happened but ever the optimist I am looking forward to achieving some firsts in 2010. Not to bore you with
all of my New Year want to do list but here are a couple of highlights; Take a flying lesson, take a sailing lesson and work on my pool game. :)

Of course I have all the other usual and familiar hopes for myself and family but also some plain sanity on the planet wouldn't go amiss. :) (here's hoping, fingers crossed!)

SO, I will say again, Happy New Year to all :) May your wishes, hopes and dreams come to fruition in 2010. :)

Happy Painting/Creating! :) T.