Friday, December 28, 2007

Tuscan Blood Orange & the Super Sniffer

It all started with a candle. Browsing the floor at Anthropologie one afternoon, I came across an aroma that nearly knocked me down. It was heavenly. I found myself before a large oak table full of candles - on sale. (Sale! Is there no better word at Anthropologie?) I began opening each candle tin and sniff-sniff, sniff-sniff. Finally, I found the source of the smell: Pacifica's Tuscan Blood Orange soy candle.

(Now, for those of you who know me personally, you know I've got the nose of a bloodhound. I can sniff out just about anything on the wind before most humans can. Sometimes, I'm the only one to smell something like a fire or oil leak. I should work for Chanel. Or the FBI.)

I went back to Anthro a week later and bought a bar of Tuscan Blood Orange soap. Then I made another trip yesterday for a 1.2 ounce bottle of the perfume. I'm wearing it now and I swear - I can hear harps in the background...

Pacifica is an indie-owned company founded in 1995. They offer handmade candles, soaps, body butters, and perfumes in a variety of beautifully-blended aromas. Tuscan Blood Orange in particular smells like a tropical citrus garden on the banks of the Mediterranean. The soaps are a generous 6-ounce bar made with vegan glycerin, loofah bits, and natural oils. I've used mine several times already and it's still the same size as when I bought it. Ah, it's magical!

Oh, and when the candle burns itself out, there should still be some soy wax in the tin. Put the open tin in your undies drawer and BAM! You've got yourself an instant delicious sachet. Happy sniffing!

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

*NEW* Fabric Pendants

Oh my! Check out these colorful, extra-large fabric pendants I recently added to my Etsy shop! They are made with high-quality, designer fabric and look great with just about anything from a t-shirt to a sundress to a silk blouse. The listings are for the pendants only. Then, you can add on to your order either a silver-plated chain or neckwire. This gives you the option of customizing just the right piece for you.

By the way, I cannot believe that on the day after Christmas I made several online sales! Crazy. I was thinking you fine people would be done shopping but alas, you're going strong. Keep it up and thank you for supporting the handmade way!

O Christmas Tree!

I had so much fun decorating the house and have only gotten around to snapping a pic of the tree. It's chock full of ornaments I've made over the years including beaded icicles, decoupage pendants, and a pearl tree garland. I also hung a display of my blown glass ornament collection, which I can't seem to get a good shot of. But believe me, it's beautiful, colorful, and includes a pink hippo, purple VW bug, green pickle, and yellow "rubber" ducky.

Merry Christmaskwanzaakkah to you and yours!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

You who know, tell me what love is.

After years of studying Italian, I'm pretty sure that's an accurate translation of an aria that I cannot get out of my head - "Voi Che Sapete." It's from the Marriage of Figaro by Mozart, and I it's been stuck in my head since 1995 when I first watched the BBC production of Pride & Prejudice (I know, I know.... Elizabeth Bennett sings an English translation of it.) To hear it, click here and type in "Voi Che Sapete," hit "Search" and BAM! There you go. You get about 7 versions to choose from.

The Marriage of Figaro is something I know you're familiar with, even if you don't know it yourself. There is a duettino that Tim Robbins plays in Shawshank Redemption that brings the criminals to a standing halt. Remember? Also, the Overture has been in about a thousand commercials, mostly diamond commercials ala "He went to Jared!".

Yikes. Once Mozart stops turning around in his grave, perhaps he'll be pleased with a couple of inspired pieces I made recently:

Rock Me Amadeus ring: SOLD

Rock Me Amadeus pendant: $7.50

I sold the ring last week to a gal in England, but I can easily make a duplicate if you are so inclined. The pendant is still available at my Etsy shop...(Oh my, see the video below. I just couldn't help myself.)


Lookie what I bought yesterday!

Had a lot of "firsts" already in my new Element:

First song played on the CD player: "Strange Town" by The Jam
First CD played in full: The Boy with the Arab Strap by Belle and Sebastian
First drink in the cup holder: coffee - cream, no sugar
First thing hung from the rearview mirror: handmade bird softies from Anthropologie
First thing put in the front area: piece of wood from antique desk for knocking on, as needed
First thing put in the trunk area: Tefi's emergency kit (first aid, TP, flares, fire-proof matches, rain slicker, wet wipes, energy bar, solar flashlight, McGuyver Honorary Badge)
First route: from John Eagle Honda to my office building to say "adios way" to my Corolla, which is still parked in the garage til I figure out how to drive two cars home
First rider: my mom, who went with me and made this whole process fun
First animal passenger: Oliver, who loves car rides

I am still mourning the passing of my Corolla as my primary car. Nothing wrong with it, except that it's a bit (a lot a bit) dented, needs a washing, has an oil leak, and is from the ages of the previous millenium (1999). Yesterday morning was my last commute in the Ghetto-rolla, and I took this goodbye pic with my phone. It's from the Zang bridge into downtown, and I was a little stunned by the way the rays bounced off the argon building toward Reunion Tower.

So. I want to name my car, which is "kiwi green," according to the execs at Honda. I think it looks like a lilypad. Here are the names I've come up with so far. What do you think?

- Prince Ribbit
- The Lilypad
- Lil' Kiwi

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Itty Bitty Mini MOO Cards

I blogged about these customizable mini cards a couple weeks back when I ordered them, but holy cow! I got them in the mail over the weekend, and they are just the cutest little things I've ever seen. The artwork is great, the paper is top-quality, and the MOO team is really on top of things.

There was a minor, itty bitty glitch with some of my cards, and they offered to ship out the entire order again - free of charge. All I wanted was my 14 boo-boo'ed cards replaced, but lo! and behold! I will be getting a whole new batch. Me so happy, and I promised I'd spread the word about how great MOO is. Check them out!

Here are a couple of the designs I chose for my cards (artwork by Blanca Gomez):

Monday, December 17, 2007

Read All About It

The New York Times Magazine published a great article about and the craft movement in general. You can read the article here. (But only after you've browsed the great handmade items in my Etsy shop...okay? Love you.)

Coral Bookmark $15: silver-plated, designer fabric

Because they're cousins...

My cousin Jon got back to the States a few weeks ago after a tour in the Navy. He stopped by Dallas this past weekend and joined us for our monthly Cheers to Charity gathering. This time, Jason and I threw a party at our place and we have some pics to prove it.

(I wish you could see my necklace up close and personal. I made it from a photo Jason took about 4 years ago of a man with a white beard, Santa hat, and red outfit, jogging at White Rock Lake. I framed it, and surrounded it with Czech glass beads in white, candy apple red, and mint green.)

The Cousins & the Aunts

2 Cousins, 1 Serb, 1 Honorary Serb

3 Crazy Cousins

3 Normal Cousins @ Cafe Izmir
(Here I'm wearing one of my new mega-big fabric button necklaces.)

Aw, can you believe I only see him about once every year or two?

Jennie Loves Chewchie

And now...the finest ladies in Dallas!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Am I on your blogroll?

Then let me know! I'll add you to mine.

Love You.

Felting Wool

About 2 months ago I purchased a lot of wool, some needles, and a couple books on making felted jewelry and accessories. With the slew of art shows behind me, a ton of fabric button goods completed, and the looming 5-day Christmas weekend upon me, I finally plan to learn how to make felted beads. I came across this Orbit Necklace by Moufelt and am IN LOVE with it. I will use it as a guideline and inspiration:

Where I got my wool and needles: Mary Jane's Attic
The books I bought: Hand-Felted Jewelry & Beads and Felted Jewelry: 20 Stylish Designs

Stayed tuned for some Tefi felted jewelry and wish me luck!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

My So-Called Life

I don't believe it. You can now watch 2 episodes (including the Pilot) of My So-Called Life online. Too cool! That is, if you are old enough (or young enough) to remember the show. If not, check it out. Two words: Jordan. Catalano.

Handmade Holiday Wish List

Okay, I'll make it easy on you guys. Here's what I want for Chrismakwanzakkah (or any other day of the year):

Golden Girls t-shirt
somewhere in Nebraska

Cell phone pouch
somewhere in Texas

Camera pouch
Vancouver, Canada

Kazuri handmade beads

Little William handbag
Springfield, Illinois

Custom-made Felted Likeness of Oliver!
Portland, Oregon

Hand-felted scarf

Friday, December 7, 2007

Etsy Find: Backyard Bird Nest Helpers

I'm throwing some love The Nature Nut's way. This item is just about the coolest, most resourceful thing I've seen in a long while. It's made from all upcycled material and incorporates birds and nature. In fact, it allows the birds to upcycle these items themselves, so really it's like 2 times reused "stuff." Below the picture is a little description from right off her listing:

Birds are very resourceful and some will make their nests using the strangest things. This little experiment kit will reveal the items that your local wild birds prefer to use when nest building.

Each cage is stuffed with something different:
- rainbow coloured wool
- raffia
- fur from my friend’s Bouvier* (Flanders Cattle Dog) named Watson
- shredded coloured accordion paper

* The fur from Bouvier dogs is normally non-allergenic. This fur comes straight from the grooming shop where he was bathed and then got his summer trim. The fur doesn’t smell “doggie” and should not cause problems for people who normally suffer from allergies.

You can hang all four nest helpers out in the trees around your yard and see which birds prefer each type of nesting material. When the birds finish emptying the cages you can continue the experiment by re-stuffing them with any of the following materials that you can find around your home:

- straw
- bits of string
- dried grasses
- small twigs
- thin strips of cotton fabric
- dried corn husk
- moss
- short lengths of thread
- bull rush fluff or other natural fluff produced by wild plants
- cotton balls
- feathers
- dryer lint

Click here for more info.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Oh, Drool!

This past Saturday at the Urban Street Bazaar, I got so many compliments on my Koi sweater. Almost everyone asked me, "Did you make that?" Considering I had a booth selling my handmade goods at a craft show, it's no surprise. However, I did NOT make it, and I'm jealous of whomever did. It's a beautiful light-weight, gray cardigan with colorful bursts of applique all over the place. The sweater also has a nice trim of vintage-style fabric with a green and yellow floral print, along with large green buttons. This pic does not give it justice, but it's the best I can do. Guess where I got it!

I also paired the sweater with a couple of my mismatched fabric bobbies (see above) and BAM! Instant cuteness. I'll be selling more of my fabric and vintage button bobbies this Saturday at the Etsy Dallas Trunk Show. I nearly sold out last weekend and had to madly make more Sunday night, so don't miss out!

And here are a couple more cardigans to drool over, also from you-know-where:

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Great Craft Resources

I rarely publicize my resources, but I just love these sites from which I recently ordered. Even tho I haven't gotten my goods yet, I just know I'm gonna be superthrilled with my purchases:

Purl Soho - tons of great fabric, yarn, sewing notions, and patterns. And their blog, Purl Bee, is chock full of ideas, kits, patterns, and crafty info. - Thanks to Little Cookie, I checked out and was just floored by their cute mini business cards. They measure about 1" x 2.75" and I ordered 200. The best part is that you get to customize one side with up to 6 lines of text, and on the other side you can use art by designers from around the globe. Since I'm not an illustrator, I jumped right on that! The following are some designs I chose for my minicards. (NOTE: This shiz is copyrighted, so please no takey!)

Art by Blanca Gomez:

Art by Askey Illustration:

Funny Ha-Ha

Came across a couple funny pics that made my Tuesday a little cheerier:

Crochet Man, found on Crafty Little Owl's blog

My cousin, Jennifer, and me on a catamaran in the San Francisco Bay, August 2007 (How is it that her hair looks so darn good?)

Funky Finds

Thanks to Jessica of Funky Finds for giving me a shout out in her blog yesterday. She came by my booth at the Deck the Halls show and couldn't have been nicer. Check out her site and keep up-to-date on some crafty happenings! Looking forward to seeing Jessica at our Etsy Dallas trunk show this Saturday (11am-3pm!).

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Shoplifters of the World, Unite and Take Over

What a great song; I love The Smiths. As cute as the song "Shoplifters of the World, Unite and Take Over" is, actual shoplifters are not cool at all.

This past weekend was a blast for me. I took part in two supercool, hip and trendy art/craft shows and had so much fun! Shows give me a chance to meet people and really connect with my customers. I love the positive feedback, meeting fellow crafters, and I really love when customers who bought my stuff on Saturday, come to the other show I did on Sunday wearing my pieces. It's a total rush!

What is not a total rush is a dandy shoplifter who decided she'd take advantage of a little display I set up on the floor under my easel. She got away with a $22 necklace made with Czech glass and sterling chain. Grrr...I felt so violated! I followed her around and got one of the event coordinators to follow her as well. She got the hint and made a bee line for the back door. THEN, she had the cojones to come to the second show on Sunday (different event, different venue), and she came by my booth again! This time, I physically got between her and my displays and she got the hint. I didn't think a confrontation was worth it, so I didn't say anything. We all banded together and spread the word about her and kept an eye on her until she left. How sad is that? I talked myself down from my anger when I realized how lucky I am.

I don't have to steal things to feel better. I have a wonderful boyfriend who brings me apple sauce and granola bars when I'm hungry, who helps me with my displays when I'm too tired to stand, who helps me load the car and unload when we get home - and never complains, ever. I have a mother who is so dedicated that she stays with me at my booth for HOURS, then helps me tear down, pack up, and load my car. I have a best friend who comes to my shows and keeps me company, and makes me laugh, and passes out compliments effortlessly. Then, she helps me pack up and carry my stuff to my car. AND, she understands my compulsive organizational craziness, and accepts it with a smile.

So to that woman who stole from me (and most likely others): I'm sorry your life is not the bowl of cherries that it should be. I wish better things for you.

If you're feeling as thankful and zen-like as I am, perhaps you'll make a contribution to those less-fortunate. Here are a couple websites to get you started (the first is the charity I work for and the second is the charity Jason, my boyfriend, works for):

The Vogel Alcove Childcare Center for the Homeless
Jonathan's Place