Monday, September 29, 2008

Good Company


Isn't this treasury charming! My little headband in the top right corner is in some good company. This treasury on Etsy was put together by Flights of Whimsy.
You can visit this collection up close and personal by clicking here.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Sharing a Favorite

I noticed recently that I have about 20 pages of shops that I have favorited in the Etsy system of giving hearts. I spend very little money personally but I have hearted these shops because their art or craft abilities are, to me, outstanding. I think these are shops that everyone should know about and for those of you with some discretionary funds you could certainly make a purchase.

With all that said I decided to start sharing these artists with you starting at the end of my list and moving forward. I don't have a specific schedule planned for doing this but rather a goal to show you a few of them each week. These are unsolicited posts that I will be doing just because I like what I see in the shop.

So to get started may I present to you Blue Tree Gallery. You can get to know them by the profile page where Etsy artists introduce themselves.
We are a husband/wife team. Our last name is Aoki, which means "Blue Tree" in Japanese. That's why we call ourselves Blue Tree Gallery.

The technique we use to create our night lights is based on the way traditional Japanese lanterns are made. Typically, Japanese lanterns consist of a bamboo armature, covered with a paper shade.

Our method is a contemporary version of this tradition. We use wire for our armatures. Because it is so malleable, we can create any shape we can imagine. We cover the frames with richly textured and vibrant colored Thai papers. We treat each light with flame retardant (though the 4 watt bulbs emit so little heat it is perfectly safe to leave them on 24/7), and acrylic (for durability).

We think light is one of the most fun ways to create ambiance in a room. So, our artistic goal is to create artwork that illuminates...in the form of a night light.

Thanks for your interest in our creations!


This husband and wife team explain the reason you would want to have one of these lights for yourself on the homepage of the shop.
Our artsy lights are the perfect way to add cheerful ambience and character to a room. They're bright, colorful accent pieces during the day, and at night they're totally unique night lights.

As always I encourage you to take a look for yourself. You can start in their shop right here.
For those of you using a reader to see this post I have included an Etsy Mini of their fabulous work in this post that you won't see unless you come to my blog to see the original post.

Quote of the day..

Senator Barney Frank said at a news conference, "Now that Senator McCain is safely back in Mississippi we can get back to work."

Thursday, September 25, 2008

More Confidence

It is great to have sales. It lets you know that someone out there appreciates what you do. It gives you the confidence to risk a little more and put up more things for judgement and hopefully sales.

In keeping with these new found good feelings I made some changes and added some things to two of my shops, the one on Etsy and the one on Silkfair.


New to Etsy are these two scarves. Sometimes I get my hands on a yarn I enjoy working with and like to see what variations I can come up with. I have done four scarves all together with this yarn so look for two more in the shop very soon.

DSC_2296 black wide 3

The scarf on the left is narrow and the variegated yarn was combined with a solid black worsted weight.

The scarf on the right is about 8 inches wide and only uses the variegated boucle yarn that goes from a deep black to silvery gray to white and back to the black.

Both of them are very soft and light but still would add a bit of comfort to your neck and shoulders.


Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Happy Day!

 

That's right folks. I am pleased to announce that 2 of my headbands are on their way to a new home and owner. I just love packing up my little creations and sending them off.

 

Sign courtesy of Vintage Suburbia


You may be wondering which ones sold, if so, your curiosity will be satisfied by looking at the pictures.

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you are interested I have some other headbands for sale in my shop as well has some hand knit scarves for the coming fall and winter.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

More Travels

DSCN2210I am sharing with you more of the visit with my daughter in August. We took a drive to the Mogollon Rim to show it to them one day. That is where Jim took the picture of the "dog rock" I showed you in a previous post. The edge of the Rim is right behind us and Grandpa who is very afraid of heights made sure we had the kids right beside us. Not that Mom and Grandma weren't careful but he was just understandably worried. There are no guardrails or protections of any kind here.

DSCN2215We had a late breakfast at the Beeline Cafe on the way through Payson. Highway 87 is known as the Beeline Highway and the cafe is right on that road as it goes through town. It is a fun place with the meals that I have had there well prepared.

We made a quick stop at Saguaro Lake. The day was hot even by the lake so we took a few pictures and then headed home. I amazes me still to think of the beautiful lakes we have around here in the middle of the desert. I keep thinking we should get a boat but Jim says his work hours are too long and we wouldn't have time to enjoy it. I suppose he is right.

I want to try and find an Etsy item to go along with each of my posts. Today I am adding this beautiful sunset on a lake picture. Clicking on the picture will take you to EllaPhante's shop on Etsy if you are interested.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Ah Sleeping Babies

DSCN2223

Is there anything more beautiful or peaceful than a sleeping child. This picture of my granddaughter was taken after a day of traveling on our trip from Arizona to Utah awhile back. I found a fairly new shop on Etsy with the same feelings I have about this photo shown in the art displayed here. It is the only thing in Sunshine Diva's shop right now but if this is how it starts I can't wait to see more!

What about you? Have you checked out Etsy lately for talented newcomers? On the Etsy homepage you can choose the Pounce feature. It will show you recently updated shops that have not had any sales yet. You may just find something that makes you say "Wow!"

Friday, September 19, 2008

My Fear

Personally I have quite a bit of fear of vehicles that demand you wear a helmet to use. That pretty much leaves me out of the fun when it comes to motorcycles, four wheelers, snow machines or rather snow mobiles since I am not from Alaska. Part of the problem is that I do not want to learn how to operate them so I would be a ride along. Most people who know me personally (family) don't like me to be a passenger. I get in trouble for involuntary startle reactions to what the drivers around us are doing. Besides I don't want to be stranded on a very cold mountain for a lack of snowmobile parts if the thing breaks down.

change?

The other day I thought I heard John McCain say that the problems in our markets are caused by the culture of greed on Wall Street. Just a few minutes ago on Bloomberg TV I heard a sound bite where he said that our alphabet soup of government agencies did not do their job protecting investors.

Do you think he may have realized that calling potential voters greedy might have been a bad idea?

Just saying.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

You Would Think......

You would think that in this day and age of digital cameras a person could and would make use of their pictures right away. Not so for me evidently. At the end of August my daughter and her 2 children were able to come to Arizona for a week long visit. I don't know about anyone else but I had a lot of fun.

I am not going to bore you with a whole slide show of our time together but rather share just 2 of my favorite pictures with you. I never realized how much my daughter and her son look alike until I saw the picture above of them side by side. The were playing some hunting type game on a Wii that they brought along with them for entertainment. Grandfather and grandson had some pretty intense bowling tournaments on that thing.

Granddaughter is certainly not so serious all the time but I just like the picture. On her first day she was scared by the dog (not that he did anything). After awhile she decided that they could be friends.

Okay, okay so that is 3 pictures but I kept the last one small.

Tomorrow I will share some from my time in Utah.

Monday, September 15, 2008

New to my list

Since they are due back to the library today I added my latest 6 reads to my list, What I Read in 2008, on the left. I enjoyed them all each for their own reasons.
  • Johnny One-Eye by Jerome Charyn certainly an entertaining look at the Revolutionary War.
  • Bound by Sally Gunning makes you realize how far women and society has really come, that is not to say we are done improving lives yet.
  • The China Price by Alexandra Harney helped me to understand China and their interactions with our markets better and opened my eyes to more than the headlines.
  • If I Die in Juarez by Stella Pope Duarte three lives at risk, three lives saved, I really enjoyed this book.
  • Exiles by Ron Hansen I found this to be a sad story strangely told.
  • Start Spinning by Maggie Casey I think the introduction to spinning was done well. Do I need another hobby?
What have you read lately? Have you read any of these and what did you think of them?

Friday, September 12, 2008

These won't fly away

One of the things that surprised me here in my desert home was how many birds I saw everyday. I have no idea what they are all named but regular visitors include crows, hummingbirds and morning doves. I love watching them in the backyard when it is not too hot to sit on the patio.

I also love birds in art work. Today I am going to show you two of my favorites so that you can enjoy them too.

The first is Treasurefield. She makes the most charming bird brooches.

My other favorite to share is Matthew Stewart. His birds are blown glass which is an art I really admire.
Now really wouldn't you love to have something from one of these artists for your very own?

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Saying Thank You


I got a lovely write up in a blog written by a fellow Etsy shop owner. This post is my way of saying thank you. Her blog is a great read and one that I follow. Sorry Moxy but I have to tell my daughter Cindy to be prepared if she follows the link because she has a horrible phobia of praying mantis' (manti, mantis's, mantises?).

Moxy has a beautiful shop filled with handcrafted journals and sketch books. Don't just take my word for it. Below is a mini of her shop and clicking on any item or her shop name will take you right to it.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Check for yourself-


Maybe this is old news to some but I was reading a bit about Barack Obama and a 57 states quote. I found video of this happening but wanted to know more about it. I checked on Snopes and got what I think is a reasonable article about the whole thing. I do happen to like what I see in the Democratic campaign and wanted to check out these things floating through the web.

Showing Off in September - Joey and Aleethea

If you are interested in some of the cutest infant and toddler clothes and accessories around you need to take a look at the shop Joey and Aleethea on Etsy. You can keep up with this very busy lady by starting at her blog. Frankly I get tired just thinking about all she does. She has a household with a toddler and a new baby, she sews, she blogs, she is admin of the EtsyBloggers and is a member of several other Etsy Street Teams. She does all the team graphics and is a constant cheerleader of all our endeavors. To use one of her favorite phrases -
Joey and Aleethea you rock!


Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Something New

Blogger has a new feature called following. I have added the gadget to the top left to see how it works. Don't leave me all alone here. Let me know that you follow this blog. Please.

The Rim

We took a drive beyond Payson, Arizona one day just wandering around. Our intention was to get a glimpse of the Mogollon Rim. I have seen parts of it in pictures online and wanted to see it in person. There is, I understand a road that can take you to some of the most scenic spots. Following this route on a dirt road after some major rains was said to be a bad idea by the waitress we talked to in a local diner. She sent us up highway 260 to a ranger station and an overlook area with paved roads. We followed her directions and were stunned by what we saw. It was so beautiful. We want to complete the tour of this area sometime when the other more scenic road is less likely to be a muddy river.

As we were walking along taking pictures with cell phones because we forgot cameras we saw a storm coming our way in the distance. Jim took this picture with his phone and we didn't realize what was in it until we saw the large version of it on his computer. Take a look-- do you see the dog? The rock in the center of the picture looks to us like a dog with his ears laid back. I am sure many others have discovered our "dog rock" but it was new to us. If you want to know more about this area this is what Wikipedia has to say.
The Mogollon Rim (pronounced /mʌɡɨˈjɒn/ by local residents) is a topographical and geological feature running across the U.S. state of Arizona. It extends approximately 200 miles (320 km) from northern Yavapai County eastward to near the border with New Mexico.[1]

[edit] Description
The Rim is an escarpment defining the southwestern edge of the Colorado Plateau, and along its central and most spectacular portions is characterized by high limestone and sandstone cliffs. It was formed by erosion and faulting, and dramatic canyons have been cut into it, including Fossil Creek Canyon, and Pine Canyon. The name Mogollon comes from Don Juan Ignacio Flores Mogollón, Spanish Governor of New Mexico from 1712-1715.
Much of the land below the Mogollon Rim lies 4000 to 5000 feet (1,200 to 1,500 m) above sea level, with the escarpment rising to approximately 7,000 ft (2,100 m). Extensive Ponderosa Pine forests are found both on the slopes of the Rim and on the plateau above. It is a major floristic and faunal boundary, with species characteristic of the Rocky Mountains on the top of the plateau, and the species of the Mexican Sierra Madre Occidental on the slopes below and in the Madrean sky islands (high, isolated mountain ranges) further south.
The Mogollon Rim's limestones and sandstones were formed from sediments deposited in the Carboniferous and Permian periods. Several of the Rim's rock formations are also found in the walls of the Grand Canyon. In many places the Rim is capped or even buried by extensive basaltic lava flows.
The Rim's uppermost sandstone stratum, the Coconino Sandstone, forms spectacular white cliffs, sometimes several hundred feet high. This Permian period formation is of eolian (windblown) origin, and is one of the thickest sand-dune-derived sandstones on earth.
Cities near the Mogollon Rim include Payson, and Show Low. It is bisected by Interstate 17 between Phoenix and Flagstaff. The eastern portion of the Rim was the site of Arizona's largest-ever wildfire in June 2002, the 470,000 acre (1,900 km²) Rodeo-Chediski fire. The Mogollon Rim was also the site of the Dude Fire that started on June 25, 1990. This fire grew to over 30,000 acres (120 km2) and killed six wildland firefighters. Other large fires have burned along the Rim since 1990, and the area's Ponderosa Pine forests remain vulnerable because of past fire suppression and fuel build-up.
Famed western writer Zane Grey lived below the Rim, with a cabin northeast of Payson, Arizona, near the small village of Christopher Creek. This cabin was destroyed by the Dude Fire in 1990. Grey's book Riders of the Purple Sage and several other of his widely read novels were either set in this general area of the west, or inspired by it.[citation needed] If one stands at certain points on the Mogollon Rim (Milk Ranch Point near Strawberry, Arizona, is one example) at sunset, there is a grand view on clear days for about 50 miles (80 km) in three directions, south, west and east. Some or all of the sweeping landscape may well appear a hue of purple as the sunlight fades.

Monday, September 8, 2008

My World is Blue

It used to be that I had a lot of blue accents in my home. It is a calming color and I love it. I also owned two blue minivans in the past and was told by one daughter that if I bought another blue car and especially a minvan she would disown me. Over the past several years my home has changed to have a lot of green and red in it and for now that is ok. The last car we bought is a platinum sage Santa Fe and I love it.

When it comes to crafting however, I find myself working on blue over and over. It seems to be the color that draws my eye first when choosing fabrics or yarn. Most of my headbands currently in the shop are blue. I do have plans for adding browns and greens into the mix but for now if you love blue like I do consider these headbands for yourself.

When making a headband I hemstitch a two inch wide double layer of fabric. The hemstitching puts holes in the piece so that I can do a crocheted edge and crocheting with thread is one of my favorite things to do. What I like about this headband design is that you can custom fit it just for you with the ties. If you really need to get your hair out of your way you can use the tie ends to make a ponytail as well.


Many times you see this kind of work on flannel for baby blankets and burp cloths. I enjoy this technique for things other than baby items. In the coming months you will see it in my shop on things like table runners, place mats and circles and ovals of different sizes. As usual for me there will be lots of blue but other colors as well. I promise.

This post will be part of the September 15th Etsybloggers blog carnival. You will find it hosted on Storybeader's blog with a list of all participants on that day.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Sharing a Favorite

I decided today that I have been remiss in sharing and showing off some of the fabulous things that can be found on Etsy.

The pin you see here today is from the shop Niven Glass Originals of Kingston, Ontario, Canada. Her specialty is fused glass jewelry. Her work in the shop includes birds, flowers, bows, divas and of course this hat which I marked as a favorite some time ago meaning to blog about it. Someone should own this beautiful piece, maybe you?

In the artist's own words-
My background is in Graphic Design and Illustration. Six years ago, I took a stained glass course that completely changed the direction of my work. Since then I’ve replaced my paint brush with a glass cutter. I now work full time as a glass artist, focusing primarily on the endless possibilities of fused glass.

I design and handcraft each piece of my glass art. The individual pieces are cut, layered and kiln fused at approximately 1400 degrees F. Most pieces are fired twice to ensure a high polish with smooth even edges. The larger foldover pieces require a third firing. The same amount of care goes into each design and every piece of wearable art jewelry is unique.
What are you waiting for? Go look!
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