Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Cute overload!

So, I have an adorable chinchilla:
on the internet
Her name is Momo, although we usually call her Chilla, Butts, Chillabutts, or Momobutts. My husband and I adopted her via PetFinder two years ago.

Just when you thought rodents didn't get cuter than big round chinchillas, my friend Mo posted pictures of her new flying squirrel, Ricochet!
Again, with the Cling?
Super adorable! Apparently she's not "flying" yet, but with a face that cute, who cares?
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Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas!

Thanks to everyone who made 2009 awesome, I had a blast! Merry Christmas, from Santapus and me!
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Wednesday, December 16, 2009

How not to be a jerk in NYC during the Holidays

Last weekend I took some out of state friends around NYC to do holiday touristy type things. *shudders* Ok, it wasn't that bad. Here are some tips if your friends ask you to be a tour guide:

1- Hopstop! I commute into Grand Central daily to my job in the West Village. My husband works uptown, near "Museum Mile". As such, those are the only two areas of Manhattan I really know. So, swallow your pride, and hopstop out a walking / subway plan to get from points A to B.

2- That big tree? It's crowded. Go early. Don't walk on 5th Avenue to get there, try a block on either side to avoid a lot of the slow-moving crowds.

3- Taking the subway with out-of-towners? Save yourself a headache and buy a metrocard for them ahead of time. Hold onto it, and swipe them all through. It's way easier than waiting for everyone to buy a card, then patiently explaining how to swipe it correctly.
3a- If you're heading into Manhattan via Metro North the 10-trip off peak is the best ticket to buy. Multiple people can use it for one trip, it's cheaper and faster than getting multiple single round-trip tickets.

4- Grand Central Station has the cleanest public bathrooms. Go downstairs to the food court, and head to the west bathrooms, they tend to be less crowded. Once the potty break is over check out the food court, Holiday marketplace, the Transit museum annex, the whisper spot by the Oyster Bar, and yes- the laser show. This year Rudolph interacts with the constellations on the ceiling in the main hall. Super cheesy, and hella cute.

5- Make it special! Don't stick to Rockefeller and Times Square. After scoping out the tree and grabbing lunch we headed to Mood Fabrics, where Project Runway contestants shop during the competition. We may or may not have said "Make it Work" several times...

6- Panhandlers- I was shocked to see the United Homeless Organization in Rockefeller Center. These guys were just busted as a fraud, now there's a court order barring them from collecting money on the streets. My other favorite has to be the woman panhandling on the subway asking for food for her kids. Yeah, it's sad until you look behind her and see the poster for "Kids Eat Free Everyday, call 311 for locations"! I've since seen the same lady on the same subway for the past 2 years, her story just changes a little to go with current events. Don't be a sucker, there's a reason why so many panhandlers hang out near the tourist hot-spots.

7- Plan out where to eat ahead of time, sites like Menupages, Open Table and are awesome for choosing restaurants, getting reservations and discounts. If you have a picky crowd head to Chelsea Market or the aforementioned Grand Central Market. Bonus at Chelsea Market- there's a rotating storefront with sample sales or promotional events. You've got a good chance of free samples, or discounted Kid Robot toys!

Locals- Remember, only you can prevent horizontal lines of people on the sidewalks! Keep toward the buildings while walking. The curb side of the walkway is reserved for natives who know where they are going. (Tip courtesy Sean, my native Queens consultant). Make sure your tourists are aware of their surroundings! As we waited for the shuttle train I reminded my friend that if the subway door opens in front of her, she should move to the side. She replied "duh". Duh indeed! Be nice to the New Yorkers, be aware of your surroundings, and call me if you happen to step into the Cash Cab!
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Friday, October 23, 2009

New in the shop- Decoupage bangles!

New in the etsy shop today- Decoupage Bangles! I'm diversifying the shop in time for holiday shopping. These bracelets are really popular at shows, and now for the first time they're available through etsy. There are two up this morning, one wrapped in manga, the other with "Little Big Planet" images from a game magazine. More are coming soon, and custom orders are welcome.
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Thursday, October 22, 2009

My favorite pumpkin

I helped make this pumpkin in 2003 back when I worked at an aquarium. So cool! I did get a little help with the power drilling required, and the design was inspired by a pumpkin in a magazine. Still, it's the coolest jack-o-lantern I've ever had a hand in. It's amazing what can happen when you turn something on it's side!
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Sunday, September 27, 2009

Woo New York Anime Fest!

Ok, this is crazy fun. Day 3 starts tomorrow, and so far I'm overwhelmed by all the new fans of my quirky stuff! I'm only on the computer to print out more business cards. Stop by the Javits Center at 12:15 tomorrow if you want to see the husband and I modeling in the "Neo-Victorian Fashion Show"! It should be a lot of fun, pics later!
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Thursday, September 3, 2009

Upcoming Shop Special! NYAF Preview!

I've been making some really cool, one of a kind items in anticipation of New York Anime Fest taking place later this month. Last year's festival was my first show (not counting selling hair scrunchies at craft fairs with my mom) and inspired me to open up shop on etsy.

So, while this is very cool, I realize that most of my etsy sales go far away to other states and countries. It would be very cool if everyone could come to the show, because it'll be a really fun time, but I know that isn't feasible. So here's what I'll do- starting this Saturday I'll list a OOAK piece- it could be a decoupage bracelet, funky necklace, hand-painted kokeshi doll, or quirky kilt pin- and leave it up until the festival on September 25th.

sneak peak of Mini Kokeshi dolls in progress by ~roserevolution on deviantART

I'll announce the listings here, and on twitter. I'll also post a little more about my inspiration for the piece. Thank you to all my fabulous etsy customers (all 47 of you!) and don't miss your chance to snap up something totally unique from me!
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Thursday, August 27, 2009

*dusts off blog*

Sorry blog, I've been neglectful. Summer has been crazy- settling into the new home, celebrating family milestones, vending at All Points West, etc. I know you're not interested in excuses. How about some promises?

I will introduce new features focused on my quirkier, one of a kind pieces. I will show how my ideas evolve into finished projects. I will photograph and write up some of the DIY touches of my new home.

Please forgive me for leaving you all summer, and let's look forward to a fabulous fall!
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Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Teeny tiny origami phone charms back in stock!

Itsy-bitsy stars are super tough, they make great phone charms. They take a lot of abuse, I've field-tested them extensively. These miniature origami pieces are only ~ 1 cm from tip to tip.

If your cell phone or Nintendo DS has an empty, neglected charm loop, please hop over to my etsy shop's charm section!
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Thursday, June 4, 2009

Charm Bracelets, and me, are back!

Hello, and sorry for the empty blog as of late! My poor computer was hit with a nasty virus that resulted in a three week stay with the geek squad, then my husband's school was hit with a virus that resulted in both of us being sick at the end of May. Fun times! I was busy in the background! Charm bracelets are back in stock, although one sold within an hour of being listed! There are six up now. The one pictured is my favorite, the bright pinks and blues are fun and cheerful! Next to be stocked are phone charms, I have dozens waiting to be photographed, and a custom request in progress. Do let me know if you're interested in a custom order, I'm happy to make something pretty just for you!
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Monday, May 11, 2009

Spring, is it you?

I do believe the weather in New York has finally settled on being Spring, at least for a week. We'll see how long this holds out.

My computer is in the shop due to a run-in with a particularly nasty trojan. It should be back this week with a fresh hard drive. Sadly I may have lost the latest round of photos, which include a friend's wedding, and my newest jewelry.

Without the ability to list new things I've tried out renewing on etsy, but I still feel that things are getting a little stale. I'd love to show you all the new phone charms and pins I've been creating! I've deviated a bit from my usual style with new beads and findings, as well as a lot of new-to-me vintage goodies. It's amazing how much inspiration can come from a simple jar of buttons.

I will be back when my computer is back up and running, with lots of new and different product! Also, I am confirmed as a vendor for New York Anime Fest 2009, I look forward to returning!
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Tuesday, April 21, 2009

New Origami Jewelry...bit of a backlog!

Earring preview

I'm a little behind on photographing new stuff, but here's a preview of what's to come. The triple loops are a new design. The pink chain is a charm bracelet, not unlike the one that you can win by entering the Modish & Cosa Verde Earth Day giveaway.

Have a happy Earth Day!
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Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Incoming: recycled bangle bracelets!

Recycled bangle stacks!

These aren't quite ready yet, they need a few more coats of varnish before I can sell them. I really, really like how they're coming out! I bought a lot of vintage plastic bangles from etsy, sanded them, and wrapped them with thin strips of paper. The map one is England, and the other four came from Newtype, a Japanese magazine. The recycled bonus there is that my friend had already crafted with them, so I'm the second person to make something out of them. These will be just spines when they hit the recycling bin!
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Sunday, April 12, 2009

om nom spinach pie!

Or, spinach torta, whatever. Either way, it's delicious. Thaw and squeeze 1 package of frozen chopped spinach. Combine with 1 cup Ricotta cheese, 1/2 cup grated parmigiana cheese, 1 egg yolk, and a little powdered garlic, salt, and pepper. Fill an unbaked pie crust with spinach mixture, use another pie crust to make a lattice / bunny design, and brush with the egg white. Pop the whole thing in the oven at 400 degrees for ~45 minutes, and voila! Delicious family tradition. This will be my breakfast for the rest of the week. Oh yes, yes it shall.
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Happy Easter!

How cute is the squirrel vase? I bought it on etsy from Pretty Random Objects. I'm spending today decorating, unpacking, and cooking! I hope everyone enjoys their day.
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Thursday, April 2, 2009

Sneak Peek! New upcycled items!

This cheerful cloud was made from the lid of a take-out container! #6 plastics behave exactly like commercial shrinky-dinks. The blue catseye beads are from a necklace I no longer wear, and the umbrella charm is vintage brass. He's so cheerful, raining over England. This guy is getting a backing that will allow him to be worn as a pin or pendant.

How is upcycling different from recycling?
Easy! Recycling means you're remaking an item into a similar item. I.e.- recycled newspaper becomes a different type of paper. Some properties change, but you end up with a product of similar value. Upcycling can radically change the purpose of an item, and increases its value. In this case a useless piece of plastic that many communities do not accept for recycling (#6) went from being a takeout lid to a piece of jewelry.
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Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Environment & Crafts, crafting green, upcycling, etc.

April is a mixed month for me as an environmentalist. Earth Day drums up a lot of good press, and with it comes recycled products, art ideas, etc. While these are all great I hope the momentum will carry it further than one month and help people realize there are lots of ways to be more friendly to the environment year-round. All month long I'll be focusing on recycled and green crafting methods and products. Please let me know if you have any questions about my art or experiences that you would like me to share!

I'll start with a "do want"- Recycled Cotton Yarn!

Wow, just wow. I am so impressed with Lion Brand right now. When thinking of Lion yarns my mind immediately goes to acrylics, or scratchy wools like Fisherman's, but it seems like they're keeping up with the times with more earth-friendly products.

Not only have they been making Organic cotton for a while, but I recently found out about Recycled Cotton! From their site:

"Made from cotton fabric pieces that would otherwise be discarded when fabric is cut to produce tee-shirts, our Recycled Cotton yarn reduces waste and conserves resources. These clippings are sorted by color, minimizing the amount of dyeing needed for the final yarn. The sorted cotton fiber is then blended with acrylic for enhanced performance."

It comes in with an impressive recycled content of 72%. I'm really liking the Seagrass colorway, and hope that my local craft stores are carrying this! Organic is fantastic, but I really like that this product takes fiber that is a byproduct and makes it into something new. Don't get me wrong, I love the Blue Sky Alpaca organic cotton I bought from Purl last year, but at $10+ a skein it's really only for special projects. In the past few years organic yarns have made their way into the big crafting stores, it will be great to see this trend expand and continue!
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Thursday, March 26, 2009

Mark your calendar! Celebrate a {NewNew} Season with the Spring Handmade Cavalcade

Spring is in the air, and with it come the social affairs that take advantage of this beautiful time of year. With this in mind the {NewNew} heads to the Bell House in Brooklyn on May 9th and 10th to host the Spring Handmade Cavalcade. This two-day shopping affair will feature gifts for grads and moms, fantastic housewares and pretty paper goods for hosts and hostesses, and apparel and accessories for any occasion.

The local focus extends to the event's collaboration with charity partner St. John's Bread & Life, which addresses the issues of hunger and poverty in Brooklyn and Queens.. A limited edition artists' book will be available for sale to benefit the charity. In addition, shoppers who make a donation will receive a surprise handmade gift.

***Free, limited-edition tote bags*** are available to the first 200 visitors who RSVP on the event's website, and can be picked up by visiting on either day of the event up until 1pm, Sunday May 10. And everyone who makes a purchase at the event will be able to participate in a raffle for one of ten artist-embellished totes chock-full of handmade goods.

What: The Spring Handmade Cavalcade

When: Saturday May 9 and Sunday May 10, 2009. 10am–4pm both days

Where: The Bell House, 149 7th St. between 2nd and 3rd Aves, Brooklyn

*** Fifty of these tote bags will contain a treat from me! *** I love the bag that I got from the Holiday Handmade Cavalcade, be sure to sign up for your own!
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Friday, March 20, 2009

Still moving!

This weekend is the final push to get all set up in the new co-op. It was tough to pack up all the crafting supplies! I'd like to share two really fun blogs with you all, both are created by the same fabulous person, Dani!

Cooking Llama
Do not visit if you are hungry! She bakes some really incredible goodies, like the above coconut custard pie...which may or may not have come from a magical coconut. Many of her recipes are adapted to be vegan, and they all look delicious.

The title really says so much! This is her journal all about her semester in Japan, which just started 3 days ago. I'm not sure how she managed to take this photo, but it's adorable. Her writing style is straighforward and a little quirky. I'm so excited for her, it sounds like an exciting and wonderful experience. Plus, there's Hello Kitty, so it can't be bad!

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Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Bright Orange & Yellow & Lime Origami Charm Bracelet

Just listed this morning! I'm wearing it as I type this, it's such a cute bracelet. I debated listing it on artfire, since you can put 10 photos there, but so far it hasn't lead to sales for me. Etsy it is! I've hit a few milestones there recently~ paperelle just topped 20 sales and 200 hearts! It makes me so happy that people like what I create. I have a huge backlog of stuff to photograph, and I'm only halfway through the samples I'm sending to the Spring Handmade Cavalcade.

Shop updates may be slow in the next few weeks, since my husband and I are closing on our new co-op tomorrow! It's scary to be emptying out our savings account, but we're ready to move. We close tomorrow, and this weekend is a painting party! A co-worker leant me her paint chip book of every color Benjamin Moore makes, it's awesome.

In silly chinchilla news- her cage door was left open while DH and I were at work yesterday...and we came home to find her sitting happily on her little house. She's hilarious, any other animal would've been gone in a flash! Silly Chilla.
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Monday, March 9, 2009

Baby Shower Cake


I went to a co-worker's adorable Greenwich Village apartment after work on Friday to make cakes! We made two chocolate sheet cakes from scratch, including the chocolate frosting. We used a letter stamping kit, which was pretty nifty but has flaws. The decorating frosting was whipped, which didn't really want to hold it's shape! I still think it came out great, and they were a big hit at the shower.

It's been a really long time since I've decorated a whole cake, it was quite a lot of fun!
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Thursday, March 5, 2009

Reusable Gift Wrapping Idea

I really like to use gift wrap that won't just end up in the trash, but I don't want it to be boring. In the past I've given gifts wrapped in a tote bag, but what about a baby shower?

Wrapping supplies
For a baby boy shower I picked up a little blanket and coordinating storage crate at Target. These cost all of $4.49 total, no more than a nice gift bag and tissue paper.

Love baby clothes!
I arranged the baby clothes inside, love the little dinosaurs! (There are some practical, slightly less cute burp pads underneath).

The finished present

Add a bright bow, and ta-da! All done, it just needs a tag. No waste, and the wrapping becomes part of the gift!
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Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Environmentally friendly shopping on Cosa Verde

Have you heard of Cosa Verde? It's a new site for handmade goods that are environmentally concious. I really like it for several reasons-
  • Clean, simple layout and colors- love the simplified dandelion graphic.
  • Juried- and they let me in!
  • Lack of buzzwords- real, honest to goodness terms that have meaning behind them for categories. Hello, repurposed!

They're still relatively small compared to sites like etsy, but I hope to see it grow and thrive. If you're interested in opening a shop, I would be very grateful for a referral! You don't have to list new items there, you can import directly from your etsy shop. Cosa Verde does not take a comission, and like Artfire has different monthly fees for sellers. More $ = more items listed, but every new seller starts off with a $30 credit. Pretty nice, if I do say so myself. Check it out!

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Sunday, March 1, 2009

All the pretty colors~ a small review of Flower

I try not to nerd out too much on this blog, but I am just in awe of this game! The developer calls it "interactive art", and that's definitely what Flower is. The premise is really simple- you're the wind. You play by moving the controller around in the direction you want to fly. Along the way you sweep by flowers and pick up petals. Each flower makes a musical note, so in a way you conduct a little symphony. The environments are all different- night, day, rain, city, field, and there's a different goal for each level. One involves painting the grass, it's really relaxing (my husband played well beyond what was needed to clear the level).

Flower is like two of my favorite games rolled into one- Katamari Damacy and Okami. Both of those are also excellent plays, but very different! Flower is available on the Playstation Network for just $9.99, it's a total steal.

I can't wait to see real flowers blooming, but it will be a little while, it's snowing tonight. Oh well.
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Monday, February 23, 2009

Maps...they don't love you like I love you...

"Maps" by the Yeah Yeah Yeahs is one of my favorite Rock Band tunes to sing! Lots of map earrings are up in my shop, the latest pair is from upstate New York. I don't think I've really used a paper map since we got a GPS a year ago, so I have a lot to fold! I have an entire US atlas, so let me know if you have a special request!
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Thursday, February 5, 2009

{NewNew} Team Blog Post- Geek Chic


I wrote about some of my favorite geeky handmade items from the {NewNew} Street Team, check it out!
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Monday, February 2, 2009

...fifty nifty United States...

I've been finding out all sorts of interesting tidbits with Google Analytics. Last Friday I had over 100 hits to my shop for the first time, and most of my referalls come from twitter, followed by the {NewNew}'s team blog, then twittergadget!

At the end of last week I twittered about another Google Analytics fact- only 4 of the 50 states showed 0 visitors! There were a few good guesses, Jen Pepper of Upstate Fancy correctly guessed South Dakota. One of my IRL friends hit the mark with Montana. The other two were West Virginia and Iowa.

As of last night though...all 50! It doesn't really mean much for my shop, but I'm happy that all of America has clicked in. The international stats are even more fun!
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Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Good news

Yesterday I hit 101 Hearts on etsy! It feels like a level-up. Someone from Greece sent me a convo about shipping, so I did a little research and updated my prices. It's now $2.90 to ship my jewelry to "everywhere else", plus $1 for each additional item. I learned that international first class really isn't that much, and other than filling out the customs form it doesn't really add much time to the selling process. I'm so thrilled that people from all over the world like what I do!

Someone from a little closer to home in Pennsylvania likes what I do to, I was interviewed yesterday by Erin of Ruju! You can read it here on her blog:

She found me through a thread on etsy's forums. Despite a lot of dramu that goes on there (woo internet fun) it is a good way to connect with other members. She sews some really nifty items, I really like these organizers that you can snap into different configurations, and this:

A purse made from a toy football, how cool! Thanks again for the feature Erin, I really appreciate it!

It's snowing, and it looks so magical. I'm biased because I don't have to shovel it, or drive in it much, but I really like how snow looks. I'm not looking forward to the rain later, that'll make everything a slushy icy mess. Hmm...too bad the park I work in is flat, I'd be tempted to go sledding. Maybe we'll have an office snowball fight later...

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Monday, January 26, 2009

Thinking Pink...

I tried out taking photos against a colored background, namely a scrap of pink fabric. Overall I'm pretty happy with them, but will look for a background paper so I don't have to iron the fabric everytime I do photos. I made lots of triple dangles~ I think the green pair was first! So far only the pinks are listed in my shop, but the rest will go up as the week goes on.

I also rephotographed my cards, and I'm much happier with them!

The {newnew} street team meeting on Saturday was really cool. I went in very intimidated, and that wasn't helped by the fact that I sat about 2 feet away from Maria, the CEO of etsy! I managed to overcome my shyness a bit, it helped that lots of other new people were there. It did take almost all day to get from Connecticut to Brooklyn and back, but it was definitely worth it.
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Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Etsy Preview- New earrings!


Over the weekend a friend handed me a free decorating magazine and asked me if it would make cool stars. She knew full well how many thousands I already have, but a flip through the November 2008 edition of "Connecticut Cottages and Gardens" sealed it's fate. The blue stars are from an article on antique blue and white china, while the black and white are from an advertisement. Tonight I was in purple mode, and made three pairs with dangling glass beads.
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Saturday, January 17, 2009

New item, and a great article!

I listed this new necklace design in my etsy shop last night, as well as a new phone charm. I love these colored aluminum chains!
A few weeks ago I chatted with a reporter from the regional newspaper, and here's the article!
Crafting a Community

Hooray! I missed the paper yesterday, so I'll go to their office on Monday for a hard copy. Maybe I'll make it into stars...
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Monday, January 12, 2009

Glass, anyone?

This is what my husband and I woke up to yesterday morning: We're shaken, me moreso, and it's a big inconvenience, especially since the glove compartment was ransacked of Maggie, our beloved GPS. The window is getting repaired tomorrow, but while sweeping up I kept a large piece of the glass. It's in the found stuff jar waiting to become art. I'm not quite sure what to do with it yet. I adore dichroic glass jewelry, I have two pairs of studs from MoMo glassworks. These are really sexy, and reasonably priced-

Of course I checked out etsy, and see that one of my twittering buds, Chris1, makes beautiful glass pendants-

I love the colors of this turquoise pendant, and the setting compliments it very nicely. While reading the forums I saw that someone else had a car break-in. (I know I'm not alone!) So, not glass, but beautiful wire-wrapped earrings with Swarovski crystals (quartz, close enough!) from Cristy's Jewelry.

Maybe I'll foray into ACEOs with a car window glass collage, or set them into jewelry finding, hmm...

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Sunday, January 11, 2009

Etsy Preview


The octopus is overloaded with goodies! I'm trying out some new designs, and working to get them all photographed today. The snow makes my apartment much brighter. I can't wait to move into the new co-op...there are windows that actually get sunlight. My standards are oh-so-high.
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Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Decorating inspiration- birds!

Lately I've been favoriting bird-related art on etsy. Ornithology was a really fun course, even if my professor drove like a madman. On lab days we went all over the east end of Long Island to his birding haunts, his enthusiasm was contagious. I'm a very casual birder, I don't keep a life list or read birding blogs, but I still like to peek out the windows at them. While shopping with my mom at Chelsea Market we found an inexpensive vintage-inspired poster of North American birds. I really liked the look of it, and I think it's a good place to start for decorating my kitchen (whenever we get to move). I'm stuck with green laminate countertops, so this collage really popped out at me-I like the pop of red, the random bit of French, and of course the bright blue bird. Next is this painting from Clinecreations-

The birds look so peaceful! I think it's neutral enough to go anywhere, and I love the way she paints. I discovered this by accident on her blog, which is definitely worth a peek. Last is this set of photos-

The tufted titmouse in the snow is my favorite of the four, although red cardinals are always pretty. Plus, the red in the cardinal would go well with the first print...hmm...

I can't wait to move and decorate my new place! Come on co-op board, let's interview!
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